Google has pushed a new update to the Google Translate app for Android, that enables users to download offline language packs that will provide translations between foreign languages even without an Internet or data connection. This is particularly useful when you are travelling abroad and don’t want to incur expensive overseas data roaming charges.
The new feature provides translation in 50 languages. All you have to do download your desired language pack in advance. Be aware, that these packs are hefty in size – in the order of 150 MB – per language, so ideally you will want to download only the languages you need.
The app comes with the offline pack for the English language by default. Others, you have to download yourself individually.
Google admits that the offline models are less comprehensive than their online equivalents, but they are perfect for translating in a pinch when you are traveling abroad with poor reception or without mobile data access.
While offline mode is the highlight of the new version, the app now also allows you to translate vertical text written in Chinese, Japanese, or Korean by taking a picture of it with your phone’s camera. However, this feature require network connectivity.
The update is available for devices running Android 2.3 Gingerbread and up.