Google Translate Can Now Transcribe 8 Languages, Kiswahili Isn’t One of Them

Google Transcribe

Bro, ati Lec amesema? Cheki Ukona notes za jana? I can’t attend class today but he doesn’t give notes…

Google Translate app on Android has got a new feature called Transcribe that can live translate speech into another language. The announcement was made by Google CEO Sundar Pichai on his Twitter handle where he mentioned that at the moment, there is support for 8 languages with more coming soon.

How Do You Get The Google Transcribe Feature

The Transcribe feature should be available to you if you have the latest version of the Google Translate app. Transcribe will begin by rolling out support for eight languages in the coming days:

  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Hindi
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Thai

With Transcribe, the app is now capable of translating classroom or conference lectures with no time limits. Google plans to bring Transcribe to iOS devices at an unspecified date in the future.

The Transcribe feature has been detailed on the official blog but essentially what it does is listen to speech in a certain language and then shows it as text in a different language. After tapping on Transcribe you will have to select the source and target language from the dropdown and that’s it.

Features of  Transcribe

Google Transcribe


  • You can pause or restart transcription by tapping the mic icon.
  • See the original transcript
  • Choose a dark theme
  • Change the text size by going to the settings menu.

Back in January, Google had demoed Translate’s upcoming transcription at an AI tech demo event in San Francisco. Now, the feature has officially been rolled out for Android devices in the form of ‘Transcribe’. It has not reached all devices yet and will make its way to everyone in the next few days as stated in the blog post.

News today follows the announcement that Google Assistant now has the ability to read or translate 43 languages from a website with simple voice commands. Both the text-reading feature for Google Assistant and Transcribe for Translate were first previewed by Google in January.

For now, the Transcribe feature is said to work best in a quiet environment with a single person speaking at a time. That will be quite hard to manoeuvre especially if people speak out of turn. For example in class or at a meeting.


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