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Using the Translate App

15th November 2020

Jacob Woolcock


In this short tutorial I’ll show you how you can use the brand new Translate App that comes for iPhone with iOS14 to convert both written and spoken text between languages. I’ll show you how the app automatically recognises the language being spoken and how you can use this in both classroom and conversational settings to converse without boundaries. I’ll also teach you how to use the clever Dictionary tool to help you understand the translations and improve your own language skills.

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For the first time with the launch of iOS 14, there’s now a built-in Translator app on your iPhone. Here’s how it works, and while you’re here, if you find this tip helpful, please do subscribe to my channel down below. That will really help me as I grow my channel and hopefully, it will help you learn lots of iPad and iPhone tips.

The Translate app is very simple yet very powerful. At the very top, you can choose your two languages that you’re going to translate from. I’m going to start with English and I’m going to translate into German. Again, you can choose any two languages here, and it will automatically detect which one is being spoken or typed.

To get started, I’m going to type in a phrase in English that I want translated into German, perhaps using a German shop. It will translate it instantly, and if you press that play button, it will also speak it to you using Siri’s voice, “Wie viel kostet dieser Artikel?” This is handy if you want to learn the pronunciation, or if you want to play it to someone else who perhaps doesn’t speak your language.

Another feature is, when you translate a sentence into a different language, if you rotate your phone 90 degrees, you can then get a conversation mode coming up. Here, you can press full screen, and it will give you a bright flashcard, for example, to show to a taxi driver or someone that you meet. This could also be great for revising the language you’re trying to learn.

Speaking of learning the language, a really nice feature is that when you press the dictionary button, you can then tap on any word in that translation to find out what that word means in the destination language. This will help you improve your understanding of that language and hopefully learn it a bit quicker as well.

Of course, you don’t have to be using just one language in the Translation app. In fact, it automatically detects if you’re speaking one of those two languages. So, if I then use the microphone and use one of the few words in German that I do know, “Wunderbar”, it will then translate that back into English for me.

If there’s a word or phrase that you might use regularly, you can favourite it from the Translate app, and at the bottom, on the favourites tab, it will bring those ones up for you for quick and easy access when you need them, “Wie viel kostet dieser Artikel?”

Finally, my favourite part of the Translation app is the conversation mode when you’re using dialogue. So, turn the phone sideways, and then you can press the microphone in the middle to begin speaking, “I’d like to buy one of those, please.”

And the phone will translate it and read it aloud immediately for the other person to understand. The other person can then reply in their native language, and the phone will read it back to you in yours, “‘Das ist wunderbar'”, “That’s wonderful.”

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