Google Translate is a wonderful that helps knock down language barriers for many people. Let’s face it: not everyone in the world is multilingual. Even bilingual people are a bit of a rarity, and the time and effort it takes to become fluent in a completely new language just isn’t worth it for some. Having used Google Translate abroad to get out of a pickle I know firsthand just how valuable a tool it is, but its requirement of having an internet connection dampens things a bit.
Think about it: a lot of people traveling to other countries don’t get data service, and some people don’t even get basic phone service. In these situations where you might need Translate the most, it’s been a bit useless… until today. Google has announced that Google Translate now has an offline mode, with folks being able to download language packs to their smartphones and head off into the world without the worry of needing internet.
Available for Android 2.3 and above, this update will bring more than 50 language packs, including Spanish, French, Chinese, Arabic and more. Google warns that the offline translations are “less comprehensive” than if you had a connection, but it should be good enough to get you through a situation where even a rough translation is helpful than none. The upgrade is sitting in the Play Store for free so go ahead and grab it in case you need it in the future.