Forward-looking: Google's latest tool is claimed to remove language barriers for those who are travelling or working with people who speak a different language. Everyone with an Assistant-enabled phone should now be able to have their conversation being translated in real time, along with pointers on how to reply.
Although Google technically makes no money out of it, the company is still working hard to improve its translation tools, which are used to process in excess of 100 billion words every day.
A new feature for Google Assistant called Interpreter Mode is now able to translate your conversations in real-time on smartphones. The new functionality was first introduced at CES 2019 for smart displays and smart speakers, and allows you to say something like "Hey Google, be my Russian interpreter" to get instant spoken and written translation to aid in your conversation.
Google says it has started rolling out that capability to all Android phones and iPhones that have Assistant enabled. Interpreter Mode currently supports 44 languages, also allowing you to type using a keyboard if you find yourself in a noisy environment or if you have to keep quiet.
The company says that Assistant will give you "Smart Reply" suggestions after each translation to help speed up your conversations. The same functionality has also been added to the Google Translate app, but Google wants to increase discoverability and remove the need to use a separate app.
The new translation feature was also made available in India in September alongside a dedicated phone line for people without internet access.
Google is also working on an even more impressive feature dubbed "Transalatotron," which is the company's way of saying it uses machine learning and advanced speech synthesis to enable a speech-to-speech translation system that closely resembles your voice tone.