How to Use Apple’s Built-in Translate App

If you need to translate speech or text on the go, several mobile apps can do the job. But for those with an iPhone or iPad, Apple offers a built-in Translator app.

Unveiled with iOS 14, the app supports 12 different languages ​​including English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese, Chinese, Korean and Arabic. Several are available for download for offline access.

With iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, an automatic translation option lets you translate a conversation back and forth without pressing the microphone button. There are also two modes based on how you hold your device, as well as the ability to translate selected text from any app on your device.

Here’s how to translate text and speech on your Apple device.


Update to iOS 15

For the latest features, update your device to iOS 15 or iPadOS 15 or higher if you haven’t already. Go to Settings > General > Software Update. Your device will indicate that your software is up to date or prompt you to download and install the latest update. You can then open the Translate app or download it from the App Store(Opens in a new window) if you previously deleted it.


Translate text and speech

Choose language

Your first step in the application will probably be to choose the source and target languages. Tap the down arrow for the first language if it is not already set correctly and change it to the desired language. Do the same for the second language.

character language

To enter the text you want to translate through the keyboard, tap anywhere in the space below and enter the text. Faucet Go to confirm, and the translation appears below your text. Press the To play button to hear the translation spoken aloud.

speak the language

If you prefer to speak your phrase, tap the microphone icon. Wait for the listening message to appear on the screen, then speak. Your words will then appear on the screen as you speak them; make sure they match what you say. The translation will then appear on the screen. Press the To play icon to hear the translation spoken aloud.


Save to favorites and set words

favorite or set

If you plan to use a phrase in the future, tap the star icon Favorite next to the translated text to save it to your favorites list.

Tap the book icon and you can look up each translated word in a dictionary for a definition. Once you tap the icon, the first word in the translation is highlighted and set. You can then tap on another word in the translation to see its definition in the dictionary.

favorites list

Press the Favorites in the bottom or side navigation to view any phrases you’ve added to your favorites list, as well as any recently translated phrases. If you want to remove a favorite from the list, swipe it to the left and tap the Disadvantaged icon.

To delete a recent phrase, swipe it to the left and tap the icon Wipe off icon. You can also add recent phrases to your favorites by tapping the icon Favorite icon.


Access a specific language keyboard

language keyboard

If you select a language such as English, the standard English alphanumeric keyboard is displayed. But if you choose another language, you’ll notice that the keyboard changes to include the characters and symbols of that language.

predictive text

For example, the Spanish keyboard will add an ñ, the Japanese keyboard will show Japanese kanji, and the Arabic keyboard will show Arabic writing. The predictive text also changes depending on the language. Start typing a word in your chosen language and the suggestions display the words in that language.

original language

By default, the source language is the left one and the target language is the right one, but you can easily switch. Just tap the language you want to type or speak. A blue circle appears in front, indicating that it is the active language.


(Auto) Translate conversation

chat options

To translate a conversation between two people, press Conversation. The app has added new features to make conversations smoother. For example, instead of having to manually set which two languages ​​to translate, you can now open the ellipsis menu and choose Detect the language so that your device automatically detects what is being said.

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Instead of pressing the microphone button every time someone wants to speak, select Automatic translation Thus, the application will detect when a person starts and stops speaking. By default, translations appear on screen but are not spoken. The Read translations The option will ensure that every part of the conversation is automatically read aloud.

Side-by-side and face-to-face modes

conversation patterns

Conversations now has two modes that you can choose from, depending on how you want to hold your device. Tap the rectangle icon to switch between Side by side fashion and Face to face mode, then position your device accordingly.

In side-by-side mode, you hold the device horizontally so the person next to you can see their side of the conversation. Face-to-face mode is for people talking face-to-face, so you place the phone vertically between you and the other person, so you both see your side of the conversation.

face to face mode

Now all you have to do is tap the microphone icon to start talking. If all the new options are enabled, you won’t have to do anything; Just speak and the app will translate each side of the conversation.


Download languages

download languages

The app needs an internet connection to translate, but you can download specific languages ​​for offline translation. Tap the down arrow next to one of the two languages ​​displayed, then select Manage languages at the bottom of the list. To download a language, press the To download side button.


Translate selected text

translate menu

You can also translate text from a website, document, or app outside of the Translate app. Simply select the text you want to translate and press the Translate menu command. The translated text appears in a small window.

You can then hear the translation read aloud, copy and paste the translated text, or tap the Change language command to select a new target language.

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