One of the great things about Google Translate is that you will still be able to use it if you’re off-line, provided you were able to download the language pack that you need. Even better news now is that they say they have been able to improve this feature, making the offline translation 12% more accurate and with some particular languages, even 20% better. They have also now expanded their transliteration support to make it easier for you to pronounce words in a foreign language in an unfamiliar script.
Google Translate’s off-line translation is now available in 59 languages. So whether you’re traveling to somewhere where you don’t speak the language or you’re trying to improve your second or third (or more) language, this is a handy tool to have. Google says they have improved by 12% the word choice, grammar, and sentence structure. In other languages like Japanese, Korean, Thai, Polish, and Hindi, they even say it’s a 20% improvement.
In case you didn’t know, Google Translate also offers transliteration for languages that use an alphabet that you’re not familiar with. It will give you an equivalent spelling in the alphabet you know and recognize so you’ll be able to properly pronounce the word, phrase or sentence. There is transliteration support for 10 new languages now: Arabic, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu.
Both the translation and transliteration are good tools to have if you’re trying to learn a new language or at least try to communicate better in a place where you don’t speak their language that well. Of course, this is just a supplement as you will need to “formally” study a language through apps like Duolingo or online/offline courses. But at least you have something you can pull out of your pocket even if you don’t have a connection.
If you have downloaded some language packs for offline translation, you’ll see a banner on your Google Translate home screen to tell you to update your offline files. You can also update it by going to your offline translation settings and tap the arrow next to it to download and update.