At CES 2019, Google announced Interpreter Mode for Google Assistant. This new feature for its AI-based voice assistant allows users to translate speech in real-time between supported languages - the first speaker can speak in their native language, and the voice assistant will translate it to a second language that can be understood by the listener. Interpreter Mode for Google Assistant is now rolling out for select devices, including Google Home speakers, select smart speakers, and Smart Displays with Google Assistant support.
To get started, you just say something like “Hey Google, be my Spanish interpreter,” or “Hey Google, help me speak Italian.”
Curiously, you currently have to say the initial command in English, French, German, Italian, Japanese or Spanish, but once it’s up and running you should be able to translate between the following languages:
• Czech • Danish • Dutch • English • Finnish • French • German • Greek • Hindi • Hungarian • Indonesian • Italian • Japanese • Korean • Mandarin • Polish • Portuguese • Romanian • Russian • Slovak • Spanish • Swedish • Thai • Turkish • Ukrainian • Vietnamese
It works pretty well for basic conversations in our quick testing, but it has its quirks. Saying “Goodbye,” for example, ends the translation rather than translating it into the target language, which might be a little confusing if one half of the conversation didn’t realize the chat was nearing its end.
The new feature should work on any Google Home device — and if it’s one with a screen (like Google’s Home Hub), you’ll see the words as they’re translated.