There are a number of apps out there to help you translate from one language to another, but for the most part you're just dealing with written text.
But now with Google's update to their free Google Translate app for iOS and Android, users can now have spoken conversations and have them translated between two languages.
To help demonstrate, I've enlisted the help of CNet's multi lingual dream team.
I'll be playing to role of the monolingual entitled white guy.
Let's see if this app can help me out.
To get started, I'll open up the app, check that it's set to translate between English and the language I want to translate to, and then tap the mic.
Right now, it's listening to English, and when I stop.
It will automatically translate to Spanish.
I'm gonna press the microphone a second time, and then I can have a conversation with Vanessa.
Alright, then so how's it going?
I do not understand anything of what you're trying to tell me.
And the application is doing favors rather test sounding like an idiot.
Right back at you, Vanessa.
[LAUGH] To stop things, I'll press the mic button again.
and now to change things up I'll talk to Seth in Japanese and I'll change the language settings from Spanish to Japanese then tap the mic button a few times to kick it into conversation mode.
Hello Seth, how are you doing today?
It is amazing busy today.
I'm sorry man.
Yeah, it's close, that's close.
I hope they give you a break soon.
I like sushi.
[LAUGH] Well, okay.
I hope this weekend you get to enjoy some.
Now, for our last conversation, I'm gonna try Russian with Boris.
Take a minute to get this started.
Boris, thanks for joining me here and.
Testing out this app.
Thank you for inviting me here.
How's the translation so far?
Translation pretty neat especially from Russian to English.
So there you go, that's how to use Google Translate to translate conversations between two languages on the fly.
I think it's pretty cool.
Keep in mind though that we're in a perfect quiet environment here.
If you're using this at a crowded noisy restaurant or if you're using it outdoors you'll probably have a different outcome.
We also have a great WiFi connection here.
If you're connection is spotty.
You have to keep in mind that all the translation's happening in the cloud, not directly on the phone.
So that data connection is really important.
Still, all in all a great app, especially for travelers.
It can handle 90 different languages.
It can handle translating between text and scribbled input.
And even, you can even use the camera to translate images of menus and written texts.
In real time.
It's really cool.
Check it out.
If you want how-tos, there's a CNET.com/howto.
I'm Donald Bell.
Thanks for watching.