The additions take the total number of languages that Google can visually translate to almost 50. Punjabi, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Nepali, Tamil, Telugu, and Malayalam were also added this week. According to Babbel, the language learning platform, Arabic, Bengali, Hindi, and Punjabi are four of the top 10 most spoken languages in the world.
Google Translate uses a machine learning system knows as Neural Machine Translation (NMT) which can translate text in real time. By pointing your camera the text it will appear in your chosen translated language on your display. You can also take a photo of the text and choose which sections to translate by dragging your finger across the screen.
The technology is not perfect, but it can be a life-saver when trying to read a menu or important information in a foreign country.
The new languages will be rolling out to both Android and iOS versions of the app immediately.