Google Translate App

How to Use Google Translate
Learn how to use Google Translate.

Communicate in other Languages With Google Translate

This article focuses on the Google Translate App, which allows people from all walks of life, including private detectives, to overcome language barriers and communicate with people around the globe.

In the world of private investigations, mobile apps have the potential to make life much easier for private investigators. Applications that run on mobile devices are extremely helpful for private investigators because they can go wherever the detective goes. No need to lug around a computer or laptop. Instead, keep a cell phone in your pocket; extensive computing power is at your fingertips.

Private investigators who travel internationally should learn how to use Google Translate. Occasionally, an investigation case may lead a detective around the world. Therefore, a language translation app could be one of the most indispensable apps a private detective may use. A translator app on your mobile device is like having your own personal interpreter with you at all times. The days when having to search through a bulky dictionary are a thing of the past.

Download and Installation Instructions

The first step is downloading and installing the device on your mobile device or tablet. For Android and IOS, the download is simple and fast and installs with one click. Google Translate for Android devices is free and can safely be downloaded from Google Play.

To download the iPhone version of Google Translator, visit iTunes.

How to Use the Google Translate App

With the Google Translate app, you can do more than type in text and translate it into another language. You can also use your camera to take a photograph of text and use the app to translate it into the appropriate language. In addition, you can also speak aloud directly on the microphone. Or, an even better approach is to have the person speaking the foreign language spoken on the phone. The translation tool will then respond with the translated information.

The translation tool is straightforward and easy to use. After downloading the app per the instructions above, click on the icon to open the application on your phone or tablet. A drop-down menu at the top of the screen allows you to select Translate, Favorites, History, or Conversation.  Below this is the language selections.

On the left side of the screen is the language you wish to translate from, and on the left side is the one you wish to translate to. The memory will attempt to recommend recently used languages, which is a great feature because it will speed up the lookup process when spending time in the exact foreign location. Selecting the desired language from the large drop-down list can easily bypass this feature.

After selecting, the virtual keyboard appears at the bottom of the screen. As you begin to type, the app translates. Three icons appear beneath the translated text that provides options to obtain additional information on the typed text. The options allow you to expand to study, share it via social media or email, copy it to the clipboard, paste it elsewhere, or store it in your favorites at the top right of the screen.

In every translation, a small speaker appears on the screen’s left side. This is a great language tool when you are unsure of pronunciations. To use this feature, tap the icon, and the device will speak the translation aloud. Another option is to use the Conversation Mode when speaking to someone of a different language. When using this feature, you and the other person speak, and the app translates the speech.

Conversation mode was updated recently to allow for simultaneous conversation, whereas before only one individual could speak at a time to have a legible translation. It edits out expletives with quite interesting humor: an expletive would be reading – “asterisk.”

How to Use the App without an Internet Connection

Most apps are intended to be used while connected to the internet. However, you can use the Google translator offline; you must plan ahead.  If you know you’ll need to translate a particular language, download that package when you can access the internet. Once downloaded, you’ll be able to use the pack offline.

To use this feature, tap the required languages, select “manage offline languages,” and a drop-down list will show which language packs are available to download and use while not connected to the Internet. However, the downside of language packs is the size, which could eat up data and device storage. Be sure to use a wireless connection when downloading the packs.

Pros and Cons

First, the pros: Of course, one of the major pros is that Google Translate is free, especially given the amount of use one could get out of it. In addition, it comfortably translates 90 different languages, so you are likely to be covered wherever you travel in the world.  Google continuously updates the app to make it even more user-friendly and adds additional features and tools. Another positive is that it can be used offline.

There are only a few cons. Unfortunately, the best features are available on Android, but the iPhone and iPad have more limitations. The iPhone has all of the features of Google Translator, except conversation mode.

Private detectives often travel to foreign countries and speak to people from various cultures and ethnicity. Overcoming language barriers sometimes requires an interpreter, which isn’t always feasible and is very costly. What better way than to have your personal translator with you all the time, always ready to translate in even difficult situations?

Save translations and investigate the spoken or written translations more conveniently when required or see what someone tries to convey to you immediately. It is a handy and very useful app, which you will benefit from significantly. Google makes regular updates and adds new features and functionality often. Overall, we highly recommend this app for private detectives.

Questions and Comments

If you have any questions about How to Use Google Translate, please leave a comment below. If you’d like to learn about other helpful apps, visit our Private Investigator Apps section.

Michael Kissiah is the owner of Brandy Lane Publishing, LLC, which owns and operates a small portfolio of websites, including Michael created more than 20 years ago after working as a private investigator in the state of Florida. Since that time, he has become an expert at how to find information online and has written over 1000 articles on topics related to the investigation industry. In addition, he is the author of the "Private Investigator Licensing Handbook", available at


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