Tourists Traveling Abroad Need To Know Google's Translation Hack For A Stress-Free Trip

You do everything to prepare for an overseas trip, leaving no stone unturned. You download city-specific apps and read up on local tourist trap spots, trying to understand everything from using public transport in Italy to avoiding eating at popular beaches in Greece, with plenty in between. You might even study customs and learn why you should think twice before smiling at strangers in a certain country along the way. Then there's the language. Perhaps you use a language app like Duolingo to learn some helpful words and phrases. However, you don't always get enough from that owl to handle everything you may find on an overseas trip. For instance, tiger mosquitoes can be an issue in Italy at times, and despite its occasional eccentricity, Duolingo doesn't really give you information on how to read a label on a bottle of bug spray in the first several units. Luckily for travelers, the Google Translate app can solve the problem. 


This free app's camera feature is one of the best language hacks out there. You hold the camera over any label or sign, and you'll get an instant translation of anything you point it at. Sure, it won't give an in-depth understanding of grammatical quirks and reflexive verbs, but it will make that dream adventure a little more enjoyable. Here's all you need to know about the Google Translate app camera hack and other things it can help you with overseas. 

The Google Translate photo hack

The Google Translate app photo feature will be your best friend on an overseas trip — or at least your ever-present translator. Sure, you can pick up body language when talking to someone or get a hold of things from context. However, what if you need to read a menu and you're a vegetarian? What about that street name in an unfamiliar alphabet like Greek or Cyrillic? What if you need to read a bottle to make sure it's bug spray and not hairspray? Open the app, permit it to use your camera, and hold it over the text for immediate translation. When you open the app, you'll see a camera symbol. Click that, and you can set the language for translating and your desired result language. 


You can also use the microphone app to say something in English and have it instantly translated into another language, complete with a spoken translation. For example, you can say, "Excuse me, I'd like more water, please," and you'll get not only the translation written in, say, Greek, but also a written phonetic translation if you want to give speaking a try. You can have it spoken in Greek with the speaker button, copy the text with the copy icon, use the share option, and more. However, that doesn't even scratch the surface of what you can do with the app. 

Other Google Translate tips for easy travel

Another helpful hack offered by the Google Translate app is the conversation feature. Click the conversation button on the homepage, select the language, and tap the right-side mic to talk. It will immediately translate in print and out loud. The person you're speaking with can hit the mic on the left to do the reverse. It can also do auto-language detection. It's an immediate translation, so it makes the conversation pretty smooth. Plus, you can keep a transcript of the discussion to refer to it later. Click the tiny waving hand icon on the top that says (in the language you choose), "Let's talk through Google Translate. We'll take turns talking and listening to translations on this phone," so you can explain why you're pointing your phone at someone. 


Another handy feature is copying the text from a website or app and translating it so you can be clear on what you are doing. There are over 100 languages and international keyboards, so if you need to type something in, you can do that. It's wonderful to try to speak as much of a language as possible, but this app can help out on a last-minute trip or if you just want to be respectful and use the native language in your destination. If you do want to immerse yourself in the language before you go, here are the best language teachers for first-time travelers.