Translate images

You can use your phone’s camera to translate text in the world around you with the Translate app. For example, you can translate signs or handwritten notes.

Learn which languages you can translate using your camera

Find out which Google Translate features work in each language.

Translate using your camera

For some languages, you can translate text by pointing your phone’s camera lens. Translations of small, badly lit or stylised text could be less accurate.

  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Translate app Translate app.
  2. At the top-left, tap the language shown and then the language that you’re translating.
  3. At the top-right, tap the language shown and then a language that you read.
  4. Tap Instant translate Instant translate. If it’s not there, tap Take photo Take photo.
  5. Point your camera at the text that you want to translate.
    • If you’ve downloaded the language and it’s available for instant translation, any text on your screen is translated.
    • To turn on instant translation, tap Toggle instant translation Toggle instant translation. You could be asked to download the language.
    • If instant translation isn’t available or you can’t download the language, tap Take photo Take photo. Then use your finger to highlight the text that you want to translate.

Notes: To pause the camera, at the bottom-right, tap Pause Pause. To resume, tap Play Resume. For some languages, like Arabic, the icon could be different.

Translate images already on your device

You can translate text in photos that you’ve already taken.

  1. Open the Translate app Translate app.
  2. At the top-left, tap the language shown and then the language that you’re translating.
  3. At the top-right, tap the language shown and then a language that you read.
  4. Tap Instant translate Instant translate.
  5. Tap Import Import picture.
  6. Choose the photo that you want to translate.
  7. Use your finger to highlight the text that you want to translate.

Turn 'Improve camera input' on or off

To translate images, Google Translate sends camera images to Google for text recognition.
The first time that you translate an image:
  1. To send images for translation, tap OK.
  2. Choose whether to let Google keep those images to use in improving the Translate service for everyone.

Important: 'Improve camera input' is on only if you approved it when you first translated an image, or turned it on from Settings.

To turn 'Improve camera input' on or off at any time:
  1. Open your Google Translate app Translate app.
  2. At the top-left, tap Menu Menu and then Settings and then Data usage.
  3. Turn Improve camera input on or off.
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