Google is constantly updating its assistant with new features, and the latest example of that comes in the form of a new Interpreter mode.

Google gave us a quick look at Google Assistant's new Interpreter mode at CES 2019. We were able to see it in use with smart displays and speakers. But now, Google is officially launching the feature for Android and iOS phones, following a rollout to Google Assistant devices and smart displays. Here's what you need to know Interpreter mode, including which devices it supports and how it works.

What is Interpreter mode?

With Interpreter mode, you can ask Google Assistant to translate your conversation with someone who doesn’t speak your language. This is a software feature that is rolling out over the air to compatible Google Assistant devices. On your Android or iOS device, this means you will now enable you to have a back-and-forth conversation with someone speaking a foreign language.

Language available

As of February 2019, you can ask the Google Assistant to translate into 44 languages, including:

  • Arabic, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Filipino (Tagalog), Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese

Which devices support Interpreter mode?

The following Google Assistant devices will let you use the Interpreter mode:

  • Android and iOS devicees
  • All Google Home speakers
  • Some speakers with Google Assistant built-in
  • All Smart Displays
  • Smart clocks

How does Interpreter mode work?

Just ask Google Assistant to help you conduct a conversation in a language. For instance, you can say, “Hey Google, be my Spanish interpreter” to start Interpreter mode and get real-time spoken (or, on smart displays, written translation) to aid the conversation. Interpreter mode is already on your phone; there’s no app download required. It also features different ways to communicate.

For instance, you can type using a keyboard, or manually select what language to speak and then hold an audible conversation. After each translation, Google Assistant may serve up smart replies, so you can quickly respond without speaking.

Start translating a conversation

  1. Say "OK Google".
  2. Now say a command like "Be my French interpreter", "Help me speak Spanish", "Interpret from Polish to Dutch", "Chinese interpreter", or Turn on Interpreter mode".
  3. If you haven’t identified languages, choose which languages you want to use.
  4. When you hear the tone, start speaking in either language. Google said you don’t have to alternate between languages for Interpreter mode to work.
  5. You’ll then hear (and see, on smart displays) the translated conversation.

Stop translating a conversation

  1. To stop using Interpreter mode, say a command like "Stop", "Quit", or "Exit".
  2. On a smart display, you can also swipe from left to right to stop Interpreter mode.

Want to know more?

Check out Google's help hub for more instructions.

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