Open Google Translate, pick the language you want to translate your picture into, and then tap the “Camera” button. You can hold your camera up to text to translate it in real-time, snap a picture to manually select text, or open an old picture from your gallery.

With the Google Translate app, you can scan and translate pictures to and from any of Google’s supported languages. With a mobile device, you can scan something in real-time or pick an image from your gallery. Here’s how.

RELATED: How to Use Google Translate Directly in Google Sheets

Ways to Translate Images With Google Translate

On your iPhone, iPad, or Android phone, you can use the Google Translate app in two ways to translate pictures.

One way to translate a picture is to point your camera towards the picture and let the app scan it. You’ll get a live, in-image translation. Use this if you do not already have the picture in your gallery.

If you’ve saved the picture you want to translate in your phone’s gallery, then import that picture into Google Translate and perform the translation.

Scan and Translate a New Picture With Google Translate

To translate a picture in real-time, first, open Google Translate on your phone. Tap the “Camera” button in the Translate app; it is beneath the text box, near the bottom of the screen.

Tap the "Camera" button located at the bottom.

Your camera view will open. At the top, select the languages you wish to translate your picture from and to. To make the app automatically recognize the source language, choose “Detect Language” in the source language field.

Select the source and target language.

At the bottom of the camera view, tap “Instant.”

Tap "Instant" at the bottom.

Point your phone’s camera towards the picture you want to translate. The app will translate the text on your picture.

Point the phone to the picture to translate.

If you’d like to take a still picture and then translate it, then tap “Scan,” capture a photo, and let the app translate it.

Translate a picture with the "Scan" option.

You are all set.

Scan and Translate an Existing Picture With Google Translate

If your picture is already saved in your phone’s gallery, add it to Google Translate for translation.

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To do so, first, launch the Google Translate app on your phone. In the app, tap “Camera.”

Tap the "Camera" button located at the bottom.

On the camera view page, from the top, select both source and target languages for your picture translation. To make the app detect the source language, choose “Detect Language” in the source language field.

Select the source and target language.

At the bottom of the page, tap “Import” to add your picture to the app.

Tap "Import" at the bottom.

If you see a permission request, tap “Yes.” Then choose the picture you want to translate.

Select a picture to translate.

Google Translate will import and scan your picture. To view the translation for certain words, tap those words on the picture.

Tap words on the picture.

To view the full translation for the entire picture, tap the “Select All” option.

Tap "Select All" at the bottom.

And that’s how you read the pictures in foreign languages on your phones. Very useful!

On Google Chrome, you can translate entire web pages, too.

RELATED: How to Turn Translation On or Off in Chrome

Profile Photo for Mahesh Makvana Mahesh Makvana
Mahesh Makvana is a freelance tech writer who specializes in writing how-to guides. He has been writing tech tutorials for over a decade now. He’s written for some of the prominent tech sites including MakeUseOf, MakeTechEasier, and Online Tech Tips.
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Profile Photo for Nick Lewis Nick Lewis
Nick Lewis is a staff writer for How-To Geek. He has been using computers for 20 years --- tinkering with everything from the UI to the Windows registry to device firmware. Before How-To Geek, he used Python and C++ as a freelance programmer. In college, Nick made extensive use of Fortran while pursuing a physics degree.
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