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Google’s New Interpreter Mode Sounds Like Science Fiction Come to Life

by Brandon Russell | January 8, 2019January 8, 2019 11:01 am PST

At CES 2019, Google introduced a number of exciting new updates for Google Assistant, including integration in Google Maps, better travel management, and availability in the Sonos One and Sonos Beam. But perhaps the best new feature is Assistant’s Interpreter Mode, which is coming to Google Home and Smart Displays over the next few weeks.

Once the feature becomes available, Google Assistant will allow users to have conversations in dozens of languages, including Spanish, French, and German. According to Google, the new mode works in real-time, so in theory there will be no delay when holding conversations.

When users say, “Hey Google, be my French interpreter,” the new Interpreter Mode will begin. Google Assistant will provide users with both spoken and written translation to cover all the bases.

“We see this technology expanding to more places—it could help you check in at a foreign hotel or help you understand the bus schedule,” Google said.

So, don’t be surprised to see a Google Home Hub at a major hotel the next time you travel to a foreign country. Google’s technology can ease the friction of acclimating to a new culture, making it much easier to communicate when you aren’t familiar with the local language.

However, it’s unclear just how savvy Assistant’s new Interpreter Mode will be: Can it understand slang? How slowly does someone need to speak? Will it use foul language?

Expect Interpreter Mode to be available in the next few weeks.


Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell likes to rollerblade while listening to ACDC.

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