Google Maps has made travel easier than ever before. You can scout out a neighborhood before booking a hotel, get directions on the go and even see what nearby restaurants the locals recommend thanks to auto-translated reviews.
But when you’re in a foreign country where you don’t speak or read the language, getting around can still be difficult — especially when you need to speak with someone. Think about that anxiety-inducing time you tried to talk to a taxi driver, or that moment you tried to casually ask a passerby for directions.
To help, we’re bringing Google Maps and Google Translate closer together. This month, we’re adding a new translator feature that enables your phone to speak out a place’s name and address in the local lingo. Simply tap the new speaker button next to the place name or address, and Google Maps will say it out loud, making your next trip that much simpler. And when you want to have a deeper conversation, Google Maps will quickly link you to the Google Translate app.
This text-to-speech technology automatically detects what language your phone is using to determine which places you might need help translating. For instance, if your phone is set to English and you’re looking at a place of interest in Tokyo, you’ll see the new speaker icon next to the place’s name and address so you can get a real-time translation.
The new feature will be rolling out this month on Android and iOS with support for 50 languages and more on the way.
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