We live in a multicultural world, but a translation feature built into Safari in iOS 14 will make it a little easier for us to understand each other. It’s just as easy to convert a web page from unknown languages to what you prefer, a few screenshots.
The same goes for iPadOS 14.
Safari in iOS 14 makes translations instant
When you go online using Safari and you run across a web page in an unknown language, you may be lucky enough to see a note appear in the address bar: “Translation available.”
Getting that translation is easy. Tap the “aA” icon in the address bar to display the Safari Options menu. One of them will be “Translate to [preferred lauguage]. “For many who read this, it will be English.
Wait a second or two and the test on your page will change to something you can read. It̵
Limitations with this technology
This feature is still in beta. And at this time it offers a limited selection of languages: English, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, German, French, Russian and Brazilian Portuguese. For all other laongages, the “Translation Available” note does not appear. There are some very notable absences from the current list, including Japanese and Korean.
And the actual translations are … adequate. The guild is quiet and sometimes worded strangely. Sometimes mistakes happen. But for the most part, the conversion is going surprisingly well.
It’s an affordable way to read the news World. Or find out what the Chinese Communist Party has to say. But no one should use this translation function to try to understand love poems written in an unknown language.
The translation feature in iOS 14 Safari also does not handle pages that have a mixture of languages. For example, there is nothing it can do with a quote in one language embedded in the middle of a web page written in another. The browser can not convert the quote. You need to copy and paste the text into the Translate app built into iOS 14.
In addition, some text on websites is contained in images. This can not be converted to a form you can understand. It does not mean captions, but some pictures only show words graphically.
The ability to easily translate a Safari web page in iOS 14 (and iPadOS 14 as well) can still be incredibly useful. In addition, the tested version is part of iOS 14 beta, as mentioned. So it just gets better with time.