Let’s face it. One of the hardest parts of traveling abroad is learning the language basics of the place you’re visiting. How many times have you found yourself flipping through your pocket dictionary to read the menu at a foreign restaurant without getting a chance to enjoy the ambiance around you? Luckily, Google has found the solution!
According to the Google Search blog, the new Google Translate update will soon have the ability to translate almost any foreign sign into English using your Android or IOS’s built-in camera, without the use of an internet connection. Travelers can now save tons of money by avoiding special internet charges outside the U.S., leaving more spending room for biscotti and mini Eiffel Tower key chains. Google is currently offering translations from Spanish, Italian, Russian, Portuguese, German, and French to English (with more languages to come soon), as well as a voice component of the app in which a smartphone owner can instantly have their own words translated into another language and vice versa.
Now before we go wandering around Rome and Athens with a virtual travel guide on hand (literally) at all times, we should think about the consequences. Keeping this app open for long bursts at a time can have a negative impact on your trip that you won’t realize until it’s time to go; you can easily lose sight of the atmosphere. One of the essential aspects of traveling is adapting to other cultures and picking up on new phrases and dialects along the way. It’s fun to talk to locals and understand the connection between their language to the traditions, cuisine, and art of the area. If we spend most of our travels relying on technology, it becomes more difficult to genuinely experience and fit in with natives of another country.
With that said, this new update will be great if it is used in moderation. It will be terrific when trying to navigate an airport, find a city, or call a cab, but it may not be so great when trying to avoid genuine communication with others. The modern world of technology has many remarkable advancements like this, but we must always be sure to proceed with caution.
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