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Google Translate

Sorry to ask a really dumb question, but I'm not the most technological person out there:
I've downloaded Google Translate on my I-phone. Saved the languages I'll need (Italian, Slovenian, Croatian and German). I can input words and phrases I need translated. But I can't figure out how to get the pronunciation in those languages. What step am I missing?
Thanks for your help again (and again and again)

Posted by
17659 posts

I've not used the phone app for Google Translate, only the version for a desktop computer. I don't know that the phone app does pronunciations. However, on the desktop version, there are little speaker symbols in both language boxes and clicking on the symbol gets the pronunciation.

Posted by
8906 posts

There is a little speaker symbol next to the word / phrase. Press that and you can hear the pronunciation.

Posted by
8889 posts

One piece of advice, do not totally trust Google translate. It is usually correct, but it can be spectacularly wrong.
Try to keep to simple sentences ("the cat sat on the mat"). Make sure you have spelling and punctuation correct. It does not make intuitive guesses like human beings subconsciously do. If you make a spelling or grammar mistake, it will assume what you wrote is exactly what you want, and often translates it as if the misspelt word was somebody's name.

Posted by
12104 posts

"..."do not totally trust Google translate." How true. I don't use it at all.

Posted by
948 posts

Please don't laugh too hard at my next question. I did warn you I lack technology skills.
I pushed the little speaker but I get a message that says turn on or up volume. I have an i-phone 5, but will upgrade before summer. In the meantime where's the volume control? It's not the same as the ringer and phone volume and I can't find it anywhere in Settings.

Posted by
30973 posts


I absolutely agree with Chris, in terms of not trusting Google Translate too much. It's somewhat useful but doesn't always provide a correct translation. I gave it a test on my last trip to Italy when trying to chat with a teacher. She told me several times that the translation was "completely wrong". My limited Italian and her limited English were more useful. Google Translate did help to some extent, but it's not ready for prime time yet.

Posted by
948 posts

Thanks to all. I figured out my phone. Will be using Google Translate for single words only. I also downloaded Talk and Translate app. We're buying Rick's phrase book which should help too.

Posted by
280 posts

Before your trip you might want to check out the Duo Lingo app.

Posted by
332 posts

Google Translate is a helpful tool but, should not be completely relied upon. As others have pointed out, you need to have your punctuation and spelling dialed-in. Keep phasing simple and without slang.

-There's a little camera symbol, press that and point the camera at a sign or, menu. The words will be changed to whatever language you select, this feature is very helpful when viewing menus. Again, it's not entirely accurate and there will be some words/phrases that won't make any sense, if anything it's a great source of laughs. Just make sure when you use your camera, you turn it SIDEWAYS or, landscape mode. Actually, all your picture and especially your videos should be shot/filmed in this manner.
-The middle symbol looks like a microphone, you can use that to speak into and translate.
-The far right symbol looks like a squiggly can write or, have the native speaker write down what they're trying to tell you. I was at a Enoteca in Rome one night and a man from Greece who didn't speak any Italian, would whip-out his tablet and with Google Translate, would write out the wine he'd like, turned it around and showed the bar tender. With a quick nod, he got his wine glass filled with what he wanted.
Again, useful tool just keep in mind that language is an ever evolving and complex.

Posted by
8640 posts

As stated, Google Translate is close in many occasions but not perfect.

I find people who work in the travel industry, and deal with tourists who are not fluent in their language, will get the gist of what you want.

I once made a hotel reservation in Austria and wanted a room on an upper floor. I used Google Translate and it seemed I had requested a room "upstairs" They knew what I meant.

I had the reverse happen to me in Hamburg last year. I was in a restaurant and the young lady taking my order spoke some English. She was telling me the daily specials but didn't know the English word for the daily soup. So she got her phone and showed me what it was in English. British English. The word translated into "swede" which in the U.S. is "rutabega." I guess not a common word taught in English classes.

By the way, the soup was delicious.