Imagine receiving an email in a language you don’t understand and having your phone instantly offer to translate it for you. This is something that has eluded smartphone users for a long time, but no more. Google’s Gmail app for Android and iOS has finally caught up with its web version with the introduction of native email translation. So, the next time someone sends you an email in a different language, you do not have to resort to third-party translation tools or the like.

Google announced the same in a Workspace blog. For Android users, it started its gradual rollout from August 8, while iOS users can get their hands on it from August 21. Google noted that this will be available to all Google Workspace customers, as well as users with personal Google accounts.

The native translation capability has been a part of the desktop version of Gmail for quite some time – currently, it is compatible with 100 languages. The Gmail apps on iOS and Android sorely lacked the feature – until now, that is. With the in-built live translate capability coming to the Gmail app, users will find that it will work the moment it detects that the received email might not be in their primary language.

The positive impacts of native email translation in the Gmail app on smartphones cannot be exaggerated. It has the capability of streaming workflows – so far, users had to resort to copy-pasting into translation tools, which was not only time-consuming but also disrupted the natural flow of reading and responding to emails. The new native translation is set to put an end to this, while addressing the language barrier that often hampers effective global communication, facilitating smoother communication across teams and partners located in different regions. This is something that could lead to increased efficiency, reduced misunderstandings, and ultimately more successful collaborations. Furthermore, it reduces the reliance on third-party translation tools.

The native translation feature in Gmail mobile app works seamlessly to detect the language of an email and offer translation options. When users receive an email in a language different from their Gmail display language, a “Translate to” banner appears before the message body. By tapping on this banner, users are presented with the option to “Show original” content or “Automatically translate” the email into their preferred language.

To manually translate an email, users can access the three-dot overflow menu in the top-right corner of the email interface. The “Translate” option within this menu initiates the translation process. Additionally, users can customize their translation preferences. The app allows users to select their preferred output language in the settings. This way, the app will prompt translation whenever an email’s content doesn’t match the user’s Gmail display language.
For users who prefer not to have translation banners appear for specific languages, the “Don’t translate [language] again” option provides an opt-out feature. This can be useful for individuals proficient in multiple languages who only require translation for certain ones.