How Google Translate works [Complete Guide 2023]

  • Por Sophia Silva
  • 30/06/2022 às 10:59 atualizado em (28/01/2023 às 18:20)
  • 4min de leitura

Google Translate has become one of the main ways we perform translations quickly and simply. Although it is not the most suitable way to translate something officially, this is still an excellent tool for our daily lives. But do you know how, exactly, Google Translate works? What different types of translation it offers and how should you use it?

These are common questions from new users of the tool and are things we will answer in today’s guide. To learn all about how Google Translate works, just check out our tips below!

How Google Translate works

Google Translate can be used in many ways these days. You can access it from any internet browser in the web version or use the mobile app on your smartphone.

The app is available for Android on the Google Play Store and for iPhone on the App Store. The app is very lightweight, works well even on older smartphones, and is completely free.

Google Translate menu how google translate works

You can use it more fully than the general browser version. Therefore, we recommend that you try it out and use it whenever possible.

Currently, Google Translate supports 133 different languages. Of these, 37 languages can be translated by images and 32 of them can be translated by audio.

Below, we will show you more about these different translations that you can perform with the Google service and teach you how Google Translate works.

Text translation

To begin with, we have the classic text translation, which is what made Google Translate so popular. It is here that we have access to no less than 133 available languages.

Just type or paste the word, phrase, or even text you want to translate. You can select the original language or let Google detect the language itself.

You also select the language in which the translation is performed. It can be your own language or one you are learning.

This function is very simple and usually has well-done translations. This is especially true for some of the most popular languages such as English and Spanish.

Photo translation

Photo translation is not that different from text translation. You can use this option to point your smartphone camera at a place with text and Google Translate has to recognize what is written.

In this way, it will try to assemble the best possible translation. This option is usually slightly worse than simply importing an image or photo saved on your device.

photo translation how google translate works

Once the photo is saved, it scans it, looks for text, and knows better what to translate. You can even manually mark where there is text and what should be translated this way.

This is a great way to get by on trips to other countries. After all, it is easy to read packaging, restaurant menus, posters, or signs on the street.

Voice translation

Voice translation is one of the most incredible options on the service. But how does Google Translate work with this audio function?

voice translation how google translate works

Well, the app gives you two really cool options. You can use the option for it to hear something being said and translate it into the language you chose, for example.

This could be you or someone else speaking, a phrase said on TV, something said in a song, etc. It’s very quick and simple to use, and Google Translate can detect what is being said without much difficulty, especially if you’ve told it what language is being spoken. Learning how Google Translate works is quick and easy.

The other option is to translate entire conversations. In this way, you choose the two languages that are being spoken and Google translates each phrase it hears.

It’s clear that it’s not at a level for keeping up with quick conversations. So, one person needs to speak into the microphone in turn, wait for the translation and let the other person respond.


This is an excellent way to communicate in foreign countries as well. Even though it’s slower, it’s already an opening to talk to people who don’t know your language.

Did you like the tips?

Did you take advantage of our guide to learn more about how Google Translate works and all its different translation options? Then also check out these apps to turn audio into text and share this article with friends who want to learn more about the tool!