No English menu? There’s nothing wrong with this simple travel hack.


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Have you ever sat down to enjoy a nice dinner on vacation, only to find that you couldn’t read the menu? While restaurants in touristy areas may have an English menu if you’re lucky, don’t count on it. And when you get the chance, what if you get something you don’t want? You start spending money on things you don’t like, which is not how you should spend your vacation. fortunately, A very simple and easy travel hack that allows you to read any menu. Travelers have been using this trick for years, but many still don’t know it exists.

Young woman eating in a cafe in France.

Take, for example, the young woman who took a vacation to Turkey. During her visit, she went to a restaurant that didn’t have an English menu, and the staff didn’t speak much English. This prompted her to download Google Translate to communicate with the staff. Interpreting has been used by travelers for many years and is an extremely useful tool to have in a foreign country. However, as with the woman below, there is a special feature that is often not recognized. There is a ‘Camera’ button that you can press when you open the app.

After pressing the camera button, travelers can point their phone at a menu or anything else with foreign language text, such as street signs, reminders or nutrition labels at the grocery store.

In a few seconds, Google Translate will translate the foreign text into English (or the user’s chosen language). The feature is extremely useful when visiting abroad And it often goes unnoticed, as it did with the woman in the video.

When a couple looks at a foreign menu that is not in English

Google Translate tips and tricks

Offline use

One thing travelers often run into in a foreign country is a lack of cell phone data or Wi-Fi. While many tourist areas have free Wi-Fi in various shops and restaurants, you can’t always rely on it. Fortunately, Google Translate allows users to download languages ​​to their devices so they don’t need an internet connection for the translations to work. Downloading a language doesn’t use much space., so feel free to download as much as you want. For example, downloading French for offline use only uses 74 MB of storage space.

A screenshot of how to go to offline languages ​​in google translate

Translation functionality is more limited after downloading for offline use. However, users can still use their camera to translate text instantly, and they can still type in their native language to translate to another. When offline, Google Translate cannot convert speech and chat mode is not available.


Chat mode

This feature comes in handy when trying to communicate with someone who doesn’t speak your language. However, one of its major drawbacks is that the feature does not work without an internet connection. Travelers who are not connected to Wi-Fi or do not have an international data plan cannot use it Discussion Mode. For those lucky enough to be connected while traveling, This feature allows for an intimate conversation between two people They don’t speak each other’s language.

A screenshot of how to use chat mode with google translate

Once users select the languages ​​they want to translate between; They just need to hit Discussion button and then the Car Button. After this, both people can speak their mother tongue. Google Translate automatically detects each language before translating it into another selected language. The app listens to both languages ​​full-time and translates immediately after detection.

A charming restaurant on the hill of Montmartre.  Paris, France

Trip arranged.

Google Translate is an invaluable tool for traveling to a country that doesn’t speak your native language. Downloading the languages ​​before you go is a good way to make sure you’re not caught unprepared when trying to communicate or read a menu. Along with Google Translate, many other apps will ensure your trip goes smoothly, including Google Maps, TripIt, and more.

This article originally appeared on Off-Road Travel. For the latest breaking news affecting your next trip, please visit:

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Disclaimer: Current travel laws and restrictions Subject to change without notice. Travel decisions are ultimately your responsibility. Before you travel, check with your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your citizenship and/or any changes to travel requirements. Off-Road Travel does not support travel against government advice.


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