How to Use Alexa’s New Live Translate Mode
Amazon Echo devices can now act as your personal translator thanks to Alexa’s new Live Translate mode. Like the translation features available in other digital assistants , Live Translate is an artificial intelligence-powered feature that can recognize multiple languages as they speak and translate for both speakers. The Live Translate technology is impressive and you can read about it in Amazon’s announcement .
Live Translate is easy to use and we’ll show you how, but there are some limitations to keep in mind.
First, this feature is only available on US Echo devices. Specifically, Amazon claims that in order to use Live Translate, users must set the location and system language of their Echo device to “US English”. You can easily change both in the Alexa mobile app if needed, but not in all countries, and this will change Alexa’s speech accent, as well as the time, weather, and local alerts you receive.
The US English system language requirement also means that Alexa can only translate to and from English and one of the other supported languages at the same time – at least for now. At startup, the complete list of recognized languages:
- Brazilian Portuguese
- Spanish language
Live Translate works on all Echo devices, but Echo Show users get an additional feature: the Echo Show screen displays a live translation for both speakers of each language, so you can read the last sentences spoken. However, Echo speakers are the only Alexa devices that support Live Translate, limiting the ability to use Live Translate. Few of us travel these days, and I bet even fewer people carry Echo speakers with them to use as translators when traveling in the United States.
Hopefully Live Translate will appear on other Alexa-enabled devices (and in other countries) in the future, but for now it may make it easier for foreign visitors to visit.
How to use Alexa Live Translate on an Echo device
- When you’re ready to use Live Translate, say, “Alexa, please translate from English into [a second language].” Other variants of the phrase should work; just make sure you tell Alexa which languages to translate into.
- Continue the conversation as usual. Alexa will listen and translate as needed. Note that you need to be in close proximity to the Echo speaker so that it can clearly hear and interpret both speakers.
- When the conversation ends, say “Alexa, stop” to turn off live translation.
[ Engadget ]