How to Use Conversation Mode to Translate Speech Live on iPhone & iPad

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Traveling to a foreign country is a great experience for sure, but one of the downsides is being unable to communicate properly with someone who speaks a different language. Apple aims to address this problem with the Translate app, an excellent feature on iPhone and iPad, that, as the name implies, allows you to translate languages. Conversation Mode is even better, in that it allows for live language translation while people are speaking, all using iPhone.

To compete against the likes of Google and Microsoft, Apple released a Translate app with iOS 14 or newer devices to make language translation easy and convenient. The app is pre-installed on iPhones and iPads running the latest version of iOS and supports 11 different languages. Sure, the language selection may seem scarce in comparison to Google Translate, but what’s interesting is its conversation mode feature that automatically detects and translates the language that’s being actively spoken into the microphone.

If you’re interested in trying out this feature yourself, read along and you’ll be live translating speech in no time, right from your iPhone or iPad. Note that your device must be connected to the internet to have live translation capabilities.

How to Use Conversation Mode to Translate Speech Live on iPhone & iPad

Before you go ahead with the following procedure, you need to make sure that your iPhone or iPad is running iOS 14 or later since the app isn’t accessible on older versions.

  1. Launch the “Translate” app on your iPhone or iPad. If you can’t find the app in your home screen, use Spotlight search to see if it’s located in your app library.

    Translate Icon
  2. By default, English is selected as the language to be translated. Tap the language option on the left to change it.

    How to Use Conversation Mode to Translate Speech Live on iPhone & iPad
  3. Now, simply select a language of your choice and scroll down to the very bottom. Here, tap on the toggle to enable automatic detection and then tap on “Done”.

    How to Use Conversation Mode to Translate Speech Live on iPhone & iPad
  4. Next, to choose the translated language, tap the language option located on the right, as indicated here. Once you’re done with the language selection, tap on the microphone icon to record external audio as shown here.

    How to Use Conversation Mode to Translate Speech Live on iPhone & iPad
  5. Now, simply speak the phrase or sentence that needs to be translated. You can speak in either of the languages that you selected and the app will automatically detect and translate the language that’s being spoken.

    How to Use Conversation Mode to Translate Speech Live on iPhone & iPad
  6. You’ll be able to view the translated text immediately within the app. To play the translated text as audio, tap on the play icon as shown in the screenshot below. You can continue using the conversation mode by tapping on the microphone icon again.

    How to Use Conversation Mode to Translate Speech Live on iPhone & iPad

There you go, you’re now familiar with how the conversation mode within Apple’s Translate app works.

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