gtranslateGoogle Translate is a pretty nifty app available on mobile devices. It lets you translate foreign words into your native language, and vice versa, and can be pretty handy when you’re on holiday in a foreign country and you’re trying to communicate with the locals. However it looks like the app is about to become a whole lot more useful in its upcoming update.

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The folks at Android Police have recently reported on some upcoming changes and additions that Google will be making to Google Translate. For starters it looks like features from Google’s acquisition Word Lens will be making its way into the app. For those unfamiliar with Word Lens, basically it allows you to scan an image with foreign text and translate that text into a language you understand, as you can see in the screenshots above.

Secondly it looks like a conversational feature will also be added to the app. With this feature, the app will listen out to conversations held between you and someone else. Users will be able to choose the languages involved in the conversation, so for example if you were in China, you would choose English <-> Chinese.

When you speak, it will translate what you say into Chinese, and when the other person speaks it will translate their words into English, making it a lot smoother and faster than having to manually swap between languages in the app. It is unclear as to when the updated Google Translate will be rolled out, but according to Android Police the update appears to be complete, or at least near completion, so we wouldn’t be surprised if it was pushed out in the near future.

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