Google Search is adding two experimental features to its service to help everyone around the world pronounce things correctly. Here's how to use it.
While Google's image recognition technology, Google Lens, is mostly lacklustre, it still offers some interesting features for the lazy internet browsers out there. One simple feature, however, has not been available for Australian users until now.
Google's Search Product Manager, Tal Snir, posted many people around the world use Google Search for language-related queries. This means the meanings of words, how to pronounce as well as translate them to another language. Because of this, Google is introducing new features when you search for results and it's using machine learning to make it happen.
The first feature allows you to search for the pronunciation of a word and then provides you with the chance to practise it. Images and definitions of the words will also appear.
While you could previously get Google to tell you the pronunciation of a word, the new feature lets you practise saying it and a machine learning algorithm gives you feedback on it. It provides tips on how to make the sounds used to in the word from mouth and tongue position to similar-sound words.
"Using machine learning, it then cross references your pronunciation with the pronunciation it expects," the post read.
"If you're practicing how to say 'asterisk,' the speech recognition technology analyses how you said the word and then, it recognises that the last soundbite was pronounced 'rict' instead of 'uhsk'."
Right now, the feature only offers with American English pronunciation but it'll soon become available for Spanish speakers, though it's not clear which regions or accents it would come in.
It seems to only be available on mobile devices for now but with Google hoping to expand regions and language support, it's certainly possible it will be expanded to browsers one day soon.
The first time I went to Japan, I ended up ordering a cold ramen in the dead of winter from an ordering machine because one, all the images looked the same and two, I could not figure out what the Kanji symbols meant. It later presented a similar problem when I realised those same symbols appeared on the shower taps. Now, a Google Translate update has arrived, adding 60 new languages, to alleviate some of the stress of travelling to a country where your language skills, like mine, are a little sketchy.