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.

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. 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.
Languages that can be translated instantly

If you've downloaded the languages to your device, you can translate text in images back and forth between various languages, including:

  • English Back and forth Spanish
  • English Back and forth Russian
  • English Back and forth Portuguese
  • English Back and forth French
  • English Back and forth Italian
  • English Back and forth German
  • English Back and forth Bulgarian
  • English Back and forth Catalan
  • English Back and forth Chinese
  • English Back and forth Croatian
  • English Back and forth Czech
  • English Back and forth Danish
  • English Back and forth Dutch
  • English Back and forth Filipino
  • English Back and forth Finnish
  • English Back and forth Hungarian
  • English Back and forth Japanese
  • English Back and forth Indonesian
  • English Back and forth Lithuanian
  • English Back and forth Norwegian
  • English Back and forth Polish
  • English Back and forth Romanian
  • English Back and forth Slovak
  • English Back and forth Swedish
  • English Back and forth Turkish
  • English Back and forth Ukrainian

You can translate text in images to these languages:

  • English Translate Arabic
  • English Translate Hindi
  • English Translate Thai
  • German Translate Arabic

Turn 'Improve camera input' on or off

When 'Improve camera input' is on, Google Translate saves the text images that you translate to improve the product. 
Note: This setting is turned on only if you approved it when you installed the app, or if you turned it on from the settings menu.
Here's how to turn it on or off:
  1. Open the Google Translate app Translate app.
  2. At the top-left, tap Menu Menu and then Data usage.
  3. Turn Improve camera input on or off.

 

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