Imagine for a moment you’re in a foreign country and tripping over your own tongue to give a cab driver directions they can understand. Sound familiar? Well, Google Maps is ready and willing to help.
A new Google Maps translation feature using tech from the company’s own Translate app will begin rolling out. You’ll notice a new speaker button next to the place name or address of interest on the Google Maps app. Simply tap it and the app will speak the location out loud. Google Maps does this by automatically detecting if the language you normally use in the app isn’t the same as the place you’re visiting.
To start, 50 languages will be supported, but more are coming eventually. Here’s the first batch of languages that will be translated:
- Albanian, Arabic, Bangla, Bosnian, Cantonese, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Filipino, Finnish, Flemish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Javanese, Khmer, Korean, Kurdish, Latin, Mandarin, Nepali, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Sinhala, Slovak, Spanish, Sudanese, Swahili, Swedish, Tamil, Thai. Turkish, Ukraine, Vietnamese, Welsh.
For deeper conversations beyond directions and location names, Google Maps will now also link you directly to the Google Translate app. Google Maps can only help you so much.