(Pocket-lint) - Amazon Alexa has received a new "Live Translation" feature. Specifically, the assistant can now do real-time translations between English and Spanish, German, French, Hindi, Italian, and Brazilian Portuguese, all thanks to a new over-the-air software update.
"Amazon [has] launched Alexa’s new Live Translation feature, which allows individuals speaking in two different languages to converse with each other, with Alexa acting as an interpreter and translating both sides of the conversation," Amazon announced in a post. "Once the session has commenced, customers can speak phrases or sentences in either language. Alexa will automatically identify which language is being spoken and translate each side of the conversation.
Keep in mind Alexa's latest update follows the introduction of multilingual skills in November. These skills make the assistant more accessible to non-English speakers. Expanding on that, with Live Translation, which you activate with a voice command like “Alexa, translate Spanish", Alexa can signal you to start speaking with a beep and then translate your conversations. It will even show a transcript on Echo Show devices. To end a translation session, say, “Alexa, stop.”
We can see this feature being extremely useful when talking with someone who speaks another language. If you were wondering why you thought Alexa could already do this, you're probably thinking about Google Assistant’s Interpreter Mode, which debuted in 2019 with the ability to handle 27 different languages. Google also offers the ability to display a live transcript, but on its own devices like the Nest Hub, rather than Amazon Echo Show devices, of course.
We haven't had a chance to test Alexa Live Translation so we can't judge which is better yet, but if you want to try it is available now on Echo devices in the US.