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so you can turn your smart speaker into your personal translator

26 mayo, 2021

Virtual assistants are much more useful than they may seem to us, and they have become even more useful companions when they have taken corporeal form to be with us in the living room, in the kitchen or in the office. Gadgets such as Google Home and Home Mini, which are waiting for what we can ask of them, and which respond immediately.

One of the latest uses that has been incorporated, the instant translator, is an extension of another that already existed. We could ask Google Home and Home Mini, the physical packaging for Assistant, to translate a word or phrase for us. Now we can ask to become simultaneous translators and learn languages ​​with them. Google announced it at CES and it’s here, also in Spanish.

So you can turn Google Home into your personal translator

Simultaneous translation

The activation and handling process of this Assistant Interpreter mode for Google Home is quite simple and intuitive, although it still has some things to improve, as we have seen in the test we have performed. We tell you how it went and the small inconveniences.

First, a “Ok Google, activate the interpreter” it will be enough for our personal speaker to begin their hand sample setup process. Since it is based on keyword recognition, “turn on interpreter” and “turn on interpreter mode” will give the same result. We can try other configurations, if we wish.

What language do you want me to translate into?

If you want to translate between two languages ​​other than the main one on Google Home, we’re sorry: we can’t. Not for now.

With this voice message, Google Home is waiting for us to tell it the target language. If we want to speak in Spanish and Google simultaneously translate into Italian, we must say “Italian”. In the event that we specify our own language, Google will ask us with a “What language do you want me to translate from?” to know in which language we will speak to you.

This is where the first error appears, because if our Google Home is in Spanish and we want it to translate, for example, from French to English, that possibility does not seem to exist. We have not been able to get Google to allow us to choose a second language Except when we say to translate into ours, which then does ask for the source language. Something to improve.


Ok, let’s get started.

Once the Interpreter mode is activated, Google Home will repeat in the chosen language everything we say to it. We will have to pause, of course, and then it will proceed to translate and then wait for more phrases. Another small flaw is that we cannot change the language during the session.

To change the language, you will have to end the session and start another. Any attempt to change it “in the meantime” will be translated.

It is not worth a “change the language” or “switch to English”, as it will simply translate said phrase as we told you at the beginning. If we want to change the language, you will touch stop Interpreter mode to restart it. And how do we stop it? When we want we can indicate it with a simple “Ok Google, stop”. and Google will stop the translation process, but not before letting us know so that there is no doubt.

Okay, I’ll stop translating.

The simultaneous translation process has been quite smooth, although during the test minutes there have been a couple of stops of a few seconds, we do not know if because of our WiFi or the company’s servers, until Google Home has answered. But in general, the mode works quite smoothly, except for the errors that we have already discussed. Certainly something to improve, but a very curious system not only for translating, but also for learning languages.