Samsung’s latest Galaxy phones offer live translation over phone calls, texts

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At Samsung’s launch event today, where the company introduced its AI-powered Galaxy S24 line of smartphones, the company introduced how AI could improve the calling experience with a new Live Translation feature. The feature, one of several translation features coming to the new smartphones, allows customers to make or receive a call in a language they don’t speak and then receive a live translation of the call both audibly and on the screen.

The company demoed the AI technology on stage at today’s event, showing how someone could use the new feature to make a restaurant reservation, even though they didn’t speak Spanish. Within the native Call app, the conversation was translated immediately after they spoke to the other person on the phone. That person could then respond in their own language — in this case, Spanish, which was then translated again into the caller’s language, English.

“It’s like having your own personal interpreter on your calls,” noted Samsung VP of Product Management, Drew Blackard.

The live translation feature will launch with support for audio and text translations for up to 13 languages, Samsung said. In addition, all the translation happens on-device, so Samsung owners’ phone calls remain private.

The feature will also remember your language settings and what language each of your contacts speaks, so you don’t have to make updates before your conversation. This could be useful for people making a lot of international calls, as well as for frequent travelers, the comapny suggested.

Translation features also work outside of calls, translating what you say both verbally and via text for the other person — and vice versa.

Image Credits: Samsung

In addition, translation is being added to the Samsung keyboard, so you can directly translate words and phrases as you type. Here, as you chat, the keyboard will detect the language being used and translate the message into the recipient’s language. This feature could be helpful even when both people speak the same language but are more comfortable communicating in their native language.

Samsung notes that users can even select different styles of communication, like “casual” when texting with a friend, or a more formal language for work contacts. There’s also an excited tone, a social tone (for social media posts, e.g.), and a Shakespearean tone available — the latter if you’re feeling “a little whimsical,” the company added.

Similar to live translation when speaking, these translations also happen on device thanks to Googe’s most efficient AI model, Gemini Nano. 

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