It's hard enough trying to figure out what something says in a foreign language, but with some languages like Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, it can be trickier because you very well might not know how to enter those foreign characters into your device for Google Translate. We are making entering these characters easier than ever with the latest update to Google Translate for Android (versions 2.3 and up) by introducing camera-input support for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. Just tap the camera icon, snap a picture of the text, and brush your finger over the part you want translated.

It’s almost as if you could read Chinese, Japanese, and Korean all along. 

Currently, the text you select with camera-input must be horizontal, but vertical-text support is on its way.

Additionally, this update introduces handwriting-input support for Slovenian, Czech, Slovak, Croatian, Lithuanian, Icelandic, Macedonian, Ukrainian, Welsh, Latvian, and Afrikaans. You might say Google Translate just got a lot handier in Europe and Southern Africa.

Posted by Minqi Jiang, Associate Product Manager, on behalf of the Google Translate team.