Safari might translate webpages automatically in iOS 14

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Hong Kong police arrest smugglers with $1 million of iPhones and other devices
If Safari can easily translate webpages, you might never see this again.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Soon you’ll visit a webpage in an unfamiliar language and see it automatically translated to one you can read with the iPhone Safari web browser. This reportedly will be a feature of iOS 14.

No third-party app will be needed. And the translation will supposedly take place directly on the handset, not a remote server.

This Siri shortcut scans and translates text on any photo, sign or menu

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translate scan shortcut
What could this possibly mean?
Photo: Jon Tyson/Unsplash

I live in Germany, and even though my German is fine, I often get beaten by notices and signs. In my native England, signs and notices are snappy. They use few words, and often annoying slogans, to get the point across. In Germany, an A4 (legal-size) sheet of paper with densely spaced type is the norm. And that’s just from neighbors complaining about people leaving their strollers on the wrong side of the entrance hall.

So, I decided to do something about it. I wrote a Siri Shortcut that scans one of these German essays using the iPhone’s camera, translates it, and shows it to you. There are apps that can do something similar, but my shortcut is way better, for several reasons.

The future is now with this portable language translator [Deals]

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CM translator
This slim, lightweight device translates 42 languages and lasts 24 hours on a single charge.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

From Star Trek to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, one of the signs of the future is a portable device that instantly translates languages. Well, it’s 2019, so we should expect things to feel properly futuristic.

Right on cue, we’ve now got access to an ultra-light, sleek, portable translator. And unlike the Babel fish, you don’t even need to stick it in your ear.

How to translate any PDF or sheet of paper

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If you can read it, you can translate it.
If you can read it, you can translate it.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

How do you translate a PDF? Maybe you scanned a page from a friend’s German cake recipes book. Or perhaps you’re living abroad and you have no idea what the police just made you sign. There are plenty of ways to translate PDFs and text, but most of them involve either A) Microsoft Word or B) uploading your private documents to a cloud service to be read.

Today we’ll see how to quickly scan a paper document, then translate its written text into English. You’ll be amazed at how fast it is.

Microsoft Edge for iOS now translates websites in an instant

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Microsoft Edge translation
Visit your favorite foreign sites in Microsoft Edge.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Microsoft Edge for iOS now boasts instant web page translation.

The feature lets you visit your favorite foreign sites and enjoy them in your native tongue. It also gives you the option to quickly switch back to the site’s original language with little effort.

How to translate webpages on iPhone or iPad

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translate webpages safari ipad
Cult of Mac in Catalan!
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Do you ever find yourself staring at a web page, unable to understand a word? All the letters look familiar, only they’re arranged into some weird order? That’s called “foreign,” and it’s how people from outside America talk to each other. Some of them don’t even write their websites in English.

Fortunately, a good old American company has done something about this terrible habit. Microsoft Translator can fix up a web page and turn all that foreign gibberish into a language we can all feel comfortable with. You may already use Google’s translate bookmarklet for this, but Microsoft’s version is so much better it’s in a different league.

How to use Siri Translate in iOS 11

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siri translate hero
Siri will answer you, no matter how stupid your question.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Siri translation seems like the most obvious thing in the world. You probably already asked him/her the meaning of a foreign word, or how to say an English phrase in another language. Under iOS 11, though, this will actually work.

All you have to do is to ask Siri how to say something, and s/he will respond with an answer. Even better, you can use Type to Siri to make the query, which may come in handy when you’re in a line at the market and you don’t want to start talking into your iPhone.