Starting today, Alexa can translate conversations between two people who speak different languages. At launch, the digital assistant’s new Live Translation feature works on Echo devices in the US and supports translation between English and French, German, Hindi, Italian, Spanish or Brazilian Portuguese.
To start using the feature, ask Alexa to serve as an interpreter for the language that the person you want to talk to speaks. As the two of you converse, Alexa will automatically identify the person who’s taking and translate as needed. If you own an Echo Show, you’ll see a visual translation in addition to hearing an audio one. When the conversation comes to an end, say, “Alexa, stop.”
The fact availability of this feature is limited to Echo devices in the US may mean it might be a while before you get to check out Live Translation in action — even with a pandemic that limits travel, interpreter modes are most useful on a phone. But then Amazon isn’t the first company to offer a real-time translation feature through its digital assistant. Google has had an interpreter mode on Assistant-enabled smart displays and speakers since the start of 2019. At the end of the year, the feature made its way to Android and iOS smartphones.