The search giants AI virtual assistant, Google Assistant is bundled into Android phones, also on other Google products like Google Home, making it easier to search by voice and converse with it seamlessly across the supported devices.
Google has over the years been trying to make the virtual assistant more capable of handling awkward conversations, by incorporating the deep neural networks of Google Search, and the knowledge base of Google Now, along with the advanced natural language recognition that’s evolving on the Android platform.
Now, the company has made it even possible to have voice conversations across different languages without barriers, nor need to download any additional app, with the updated Google Assistant able to support language translations in real time.
The new language translation capability is called Interpreter Mode in Google Assistant, and was earlier demonstrated at CES 2019, but until now was relegated to only smartspeakers and smart displays, such as the Google Home and Nest Hub Max.
The recent update has finally brought it to smartphones, including Android and iPhone. Albeit, there is no standalone app for you to download for Android, as Google Assistant is baked right into the operating system, while iPhone users will have to install the Google Assistant app.
How to use Google Assistant as Interpreter
For Android users, simply say, "Hey Google, be my [insert the language of choice here] translator," and bring your phone close to the person talking, and whatsoever the person is speaking will be translated to the specified language. It'll happen spontaneously as soon as the person begins talking.
And for iPhone, after downloading and installing the Google Assistant app from App Store, follow same guideline as above to activate the Interpreter mode, and place your iPhone near the speaker and the speech will be translated to your selected language. While currently, 44 languages are supported on Google Assistant Interpreter mode.
Google Assistant's translation is quite loud, however you can also opt to use the keyboard and show your phone's screen to the person if you're in a noisy environment.
Also, the system can automatically choose the language to translate based on your location, but you are allowed to configure this manually if you choose.
If you, perhaps want to translate text on objects, Google Lens, which is baked into Google Assistant on Android phones, currently supports that in real time, just point your Android phone's camera to the object to translate the text.
About Data Collection
According to Google, it is not different from how Google Assistant collects data; and your translations are transmitted over the cloud to the company, however Google claims that it doesn't share your personal data with third-parties.
But always bear in mind that Google Assistant could spontaneously start recording your conversation snippets and therefore, could potentially transmit sensitive and identifiable information. If you wish to monitor and delete your Google Assistant data, you can do so from your Google Account Activity dashboard.