Amazon Science, the research division of the Internet giant, today published an entry on its blog, explaining Live Translation mode for Alexa, which is capable of translating conversations in real-time. The feature is currently only available to users of Echo Alexa devices in the United States. However, given the initial set of languages, it should be available worldwide soon.
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At the moment, with Live Translation mode Alexa is capable of translating conversations between English and French, German, Hindi, Italian, Spanish or Brazilian Portuguese. It is important to understand that, for the time being, translations are between English and one of the five other languages, and in all cases, the translation will be done in both directions.
To use Live Translation, the owner of an Echo device just has to say “Alexa, translate to French” to start translating from English to French. When the beep sounds, the user can speak in their native language naturally.
Alexa will then automatically detect the language being spoken (from the six languages it supports) and start translating the conversation in both directions. Also, on Echo Show devices, you will be able to see written translations too.
Amazon was working on a universal translator since 2018. Alexa will learn new languages in the future and Live Translation mode will be available in more languages. Google and Apple have also been working on this for some time. In the near future, the voice assistants will become our personal translators.