Just last month, Google showed off an “Interpreter mode” that would let Google Home devices act as an on-the-fly translator. One person speaks one language, the other person speaks another, and Google Assistant tries to be the middleman between the two.
They were only testing it in select locations (hotel front desks, mostly) at the time, but it looks like it’s gotten a much wider rollout now.
Though Google hasn’t officially announced it, AndroidPolice noticed that a support page for the feature just went public. We tested it on our own Google Home devices, and sure enough: interpreter mode fired right up.
To get started, you just say something like “Hey Google, be my Spanish interpreter,” or “Hey Google, help me speak Italian.”
Curiously, you currently have to say the initial command in English, French, German, Italian, Japanese or Spanish, but once it’s up and running you should be able to translate between the following languages:
It works pretty well for basic conversations in our quick testing, but it has its quirks. Saying “Goodbye,” for example, ends the translation rather than translating it into the target language, which might be a little confusing if one half of the conversation didn’t realize the chat was nearing its end.
The new feature should work on any Google Home device — and if it’s one with a screen (like Google’s Home Hub), you’ll see the words as they’re translated.