Google Translate can interpret Chinese, Japanese and Korean from photos of text

7 Dec 2012

Google Translate users looking to translate Chinese, Japanese and Korean can now do so by taking a photo of the text and swiping their finger over the portion of the text they want translated with the latest update to Google Translate for Android (versions 2.3 and higher).

“It’s hard enough trying to figure out what something says in a foreign language, but with some languages like Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, it can be trickier because you very well might not know how to enter those foreign characters into your device for Google Translate,” Mingi Jiang, associate product manager, wrote on the Google Translate blog.

By introducing camera-input support, Google Translate aims to make it easier to enter foreign characters into the platform.

“Just tap the camera icon, snap a picture of the text, and brush your finger over the part you want translated,” Jiang wrote. “It’s almost as if you could read Chinese, Japanese, and Korean all along.

“Currently, the text you select with camera-input must be horizontal, but vertical-text support is on its way.”

This latest update also introduces handwriting-input support for Czech, Welsh, Slovak, Croatian, Lithuanian, Icelandic, Macedonian, Ukrainian, Latvian, Slovenian, and Afrikaans, Jiang added.

Languages image via Shutterstock

Google Translate

Image via Google Translate blog

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic