Wed. Nov 29th, 2023

Key Takeaways

Open Google Translate, pick the language you want to translate your picture into, and then tap the “Camera” button. You can hold your camera up to text to translate it in real-time, snap a picture to manually select text, or open an old picture from your gallery.

With the Google Translate app, you can scan and translate pictures to and from any of Google’s supported languages. With a mobile device, you can scan something in real-time or pick an image from your gallery. Here’s how.

Ways to Translate Images With Google Translate

On your iPhone, iPad, or Android phone, you can use the Google Translate app in two ways to translate pictures.

One way to translate a picture is to point your camera towards the picture and let the app scan it. You’ll get a live, in-image translation. Use this if you do not already have the picture in your gallery.

If you’ve saved the picture you want to translate in your phone’s gallery, then import that picture into Google Translate and perform the translation.

Scan and Translate Text in a New Picture With Google Translate

To translate a picture in real-time, first, open Google Translate on your phone. Tap the “Camera” button in the Translate app; it is beneath the text box, near the bottom of the screen.

Tap the

Your camera view will open. At the top, select the languages you wish to translate your picture from and to. To make the app automatically recognize the source language, choose “Detect Language” in the source language field.

Set Google Translate to

Point your phone’s camera towards the picture you want to translate. The app will translate the text on your picture.

If you’d like to take a still picture and then translate it, then tap the shutter button, capture a photo, and let the app translate it.

aking a picture tends to result in slightly more stable translations. When you’re using the live view you may find text flipping between translations as parts of sentences or words get moved out of frame as your camera moves around a bit. In general, taking a picture of the whole thing will get you the best results.

You can also take a picture to translate with Google Lens.

You are all set.

Scan and Translate an Existing Picture With Google Translate

If your picture is already saved in your phone’s gallery, we need to import it to Google Translate.

To do so, first, launch the Google Translate app on your phone. In the app, tap “Camera.”

Tap the

On the camera view page, from the top, select both source and target languages for your photo’s translation. To make the app detect the source language, choose “Detect Language” in the source language field.

Set the source language to

Tap the small gallery icon in the bottom left corner of the screen.It looks like two small layered images.

Tap the Import Photo button.

If you see a permission request, tap “Yes.” Then choose the imagine you want to translate. By default, Google Translate will show you your most recent screenshots. If you want to view another folder, just click “Screenshots” and select the new image category from the list.

The default folder is

Google Translate will import and scan your picture. By default, you’ll see a translation of the entire piece. To view the translation for certain words, select those words on the picture like you would do to select a bit of text normally.

Keep in mind that that translating individual words in a sentence may change their meaning in ways that are difficult to predict unless you already understand the language. One simple example translating from Spanish to English are the words “tengo” and “que” in Spanish. Individually, those mean “I have” and “that,” respectively. When you combine them in a sentence “Tengo que” translates to “I have to” or “I must” instead. Phrasal verbs in English are another example of things that won’t translate well if taken word-by-word.

Select words in the image to translate them.

And that’s how you read the pictures in foreign languages on your phones. It is extremely handy if you need to translate the text in an image you found online, or took previously.

On Google Chrome, you can translate entire web pages, too.

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By John P.

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