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  • Full screen message
  • Touch to translate
  • Handwritting
  • Main interface
  • Real time translation

What is it about:

The Google translator is the best-known application for translation in numerous languages. In this case we have approached this application from a different perspective, to make known what it can bring to the world of people with disabilities especially for people with reduced or no vision.

Google's translation functionality can also be used through a web browser, but in this case we are going to focus on the free application that can be installed on Smartphone and Table on both Android and iOS systems, since they are the formats that best integrate accessibility .

  • Translate between 103 languages ​​by typing
  • Touch to Translate: copy text in any application and its translation will appear
  • Offline: translate 59 languages, even if you do not have an Internet connection
  • Instant translation with the camera: instantly translate texts in 38 languages ​​with your camera
  • Camera mode: take pictures of text to get translations
  • Conversation mode: bidirectional instant voice translation in 32 languages
  • Handwriting: draw characters in 93 languages ​​instead of using the keyboard

Forms of acquisition:

The Google Translator is an application that can be purchased for free for Smartphone and tablet in both iOS and Android versions.

To purchase the Android version of the application, click on the following link:

To purchase the iOS version of the application, click on the following link:

Technical verification:

 
The news that has been incorporating the Google Translator application in recent times have made it go from being a simple translator to add also a tool for communication and identification of voice and text with enormous potential.

In this case we analyze the potential that these new features may have for people with reduced or no vision and in some cases also for people with reduced mobility.

The Google translator has different methods of entering the language to be translated:

Camera

For this functionality, the back camera of the Smartphone is used from which the image is taken, being able to choose two different translation modes:

  • You can scan text with the camera in real time, so that the translated text is superimposed on the original text of the image. This option is not very useful in the case of people with vision difficulties, but it can be really useful for people with manipulation difficulties who prefer to superimpose the mobile instead of writing text.

  • Another option that allows is to take a photograph of the text so that it is analyzed in a more accurate way and we are given a translation in text format. This option obtains much more precise translations than the previously mentioned real-time option.
    Manual writing

Hand writting

Hand writing allows the writing of characters on screen in the form of manual writing, so that Google can interpret what type of letter is being introduced and offer a translation to the desired language. This option is useful for languages ​​with complex characters such as Arabic, Chinese, Japanese or Russian, in which we do not have references and the easiest way is to draw them on the screen for interpretation.

This feature does not consider that at the moment it is very useful for people with vision difficulties.

Voice recognition

Voice recognition input is a feature that relies on voice recognition from Google systems. This is the main value that the application provides to users with reduced or no vision, as well as to those users with difficulties to enter text via keyboard. Voice recognition works really well and allows you to enter all the text you want to translate and quickly get the translated text.

Conversation

This functionality allows making use of voice recognition to maintain a conversation between two people with different languages. Voice recognition is able to differentiate the two speakers by dividing their sentences on both sides of the screen and offering an instantaneous translation to that conversation.

Full screen 

This functionality is very useful for communicating information to third parties. Let's take for example in the case of a deaf or deafblind person who wants to show information to other people outside of their native language environment.

Voice synthesis

In addition to its ability to be used with screen readers in both Android and iOS, the Google translator incorporates a voice synthesizer that communicates the text in the language to be translated and in the language to which we have translated.

"Touch to translate"

The Google translator also allows you to activate a pop-up icon that overlaps different applications in your configuration menu and offers the possibility to click to quickly translate messages within those applications.

Let's put ourselves in the case of a person who uses WhatsApp and wants to visualize the translation of the quick form of the different messages in a conversation.

This function facilitates copying and pasting quickly without having to change the on-screen application since the translator will overlap the application in use.

Offline translation

Without connection is allowed as long as you have downloaded the necessary language packs:

  • Translation via text entered by keyboard
  • Translation of images both in real time and by photo.

Without connection is not allowed:

  • Text entry by voice recognition
  • Translation of simultaneous conversation
  • Introduction of manual writing on screen

To download the language packs that you will need in your destination you must access the Offline Translation section of the configuration menu.

Conclusion

It is clear that accessibility is a field that Android and Google are trying to incorporate into most of their products, which they have been doing progressively and which increasingly has an impact on the lives of users with different needs.

In this case the google translator incorporates a series of functionalities that make it a perfect tool for multi-language communication.

Highlights:

  • It is the most used app for translation that incorporates great accessibility options, it is not a dedicated app specific for blind people and we believe that this is the way.
  • Numerous text entry options (camera, manual writing, voice, keyboard)
  • It works on different operating systems and devices of all manufacturers whether PC, Tablet or Smartphone.

Improvement points:

  • It is difficult to demand more to such a powerful tool but accessibility is a very broad field so it can be proposed that future versions take into account other needs such as the use of pictograms or sign language and their conversion from or to the different Languages.
  • Design and manufacturing: 5 sobre 5(5/5)
    5
    Refers to the physical aspects and details of the manufacturing of the technological product
  • User Experience: 4 sobre 5(4/5)
    4
    This criterion is linked to the user's assessment of the product or application
  • Technical features: 5 sobre 5(5/5)
    5
    Description of the quality of the technical specifications of the technological solution
  • Accessibility: 5 sobre 5(5/5)
    5
    It is the degree to which people can use or access a product, technological solution or service, regardless of their technical, cognitive or physical capabilities

Social valuation:

We have tested the Google translator application with our volunteer Andrés. Andrés is a blind person who does not handle languages ​​other than Spanish. For him this application has been a window into a world of new possibilities.

The first thing that Andres checks in an application is that he can move correctly through his Iphone terminal, helped by the screen reader through the different menus of the application. In this case the application is perfectly labeled and allows a complete interaction with all its functionalities.

Apart from its use by the screen reader, the possibility of using the speech synthesis allows to quickly check the correct pronunciation of the words in the foreign language. This is important since the screen readers are optimized for the language in which the phone is used, so the pronunciation used by the synthesizer in the translated language is much more accurate.

The use of speech recognition has a very high quality of identification, being able to practically recognize all the expressions that have been wanted to translate.

This prevents Andrew from having to enter all the text using the keyboard, since it is a tedious task in combination with screen readers.

At the same time the simultaneous conversation allows to be able to maintain a conversation and translate it in real time also without the need to enter the text through the keyboard.

On the other hand, the Google translator becomes for Andres the perfect text recognition tool by making use of its camera recognition functionality. In addition, this function allows you to obtain a translation of the text recognized by the camera instantaneously. This recognition can be done, albeit with less precision than in print, for manual writing.

For Andrés this is a very good application, well labeled, that takes a while to learn but that offers many possibilities. It makes life easier for a blind person because it covers almost all the parameters that may be needed:

  • Real-time conversation
  • Speech recognition and synthesis
  • Manual writing
  • Text recognition
  • Impact and utility: 4 sobre 5(4/5)
    4
    Describe to what extent the functionalities of the product are useful and impact on the improvement of the user's life
  • Usability and accessibility: 4 sobre 5(4/5)
    4
    Possibility of the device to be used, understood and used in equal conditions for any person
  • Design and ergonomics: 4 sobre 5(4/5)
    4
    Assessment of how the design of the technological solution adapts to the person to achieve greater comfort and effectiveness when using it
  • Ease of acquisition: 5 sobre 5(5/5)
    5
    It refers to the possibilities of accessing and acquiring a technological solution by the user

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