How to Use Auto Translate on iPad

Get real-time translation with iPadOS 15

What to Know

  • Open the sidebar in the Translate app and select Conversation.
  • Tap the three dots on the bottom right and pick Auto Translate.
  • Tap the microphone icon when the conversation starts. Then, you don’t have to touch the icon again; just speak.

This article explains how to enable and use Auto Translate in the Translate app on iPad. Previously Auto Translate was only available on iPhone but was introduced and included with iPadOS 15. Using Auto Translate, you can carry on a conversation that’s translated immediately.

How to Enable Auto Translate on iPad

If you’re conversing with someone who speaks another dialect, you can use Auto Translate to display the ongoing conversation in both languages.

  1. To enable Auto Translate, open the Translate app and, if necessary, display the sidebar using the button on the top left.

    Button to open the sidebar in Translate app on iPad
  2. Select Conversation in the sidebar.

    Conversation button in iPad Translate app.
  3. On the right side, tap the three dots on the bottom right and pick Auto Translate.

    Auto Translate in iPad Translate app menu.

Set Up Auto Translate on iPad

Before you start using Auto Translate, you can adjust a few of its settings. These let you select both languages, choose the best app view for your situation, and hear the translations out loud.

Select the Languages

When you’re ready to begin your conversation, you can choose both languages using the drop-down boxes at the top of the Conversation side of the screen.

Alternatively, you can have Translate automatically detect both languages it hears. Tap the three dots on the bottom right and select Detect Language.

Detect Language in iPad Translate app menu.

Choose the View

Conversation mode in the Translate app provides two views to pick from, so you can use one if you’re sitting side-by-side or the other if you’re facing each other.

By default, you’ll see Side by Side view. To switch views, tap the View icon on the bottom left (to the left of the microphone icon) and select Face to Face.

View > Face to Face in iPad Translate app.

If you want to return to the Side by Side view, tap the X on the top left of Face to Face view.

Tap the X to exit Face to Face view

Play the Translations Out Loud

One other option you can enable for your conversation is to play it aloud. Tap the three dots on the bottom right and select Play Translations.

Tap the three dots and select Play Translations

When you turn on this feature, you’ll hear the translations and see them on the screen.

How to Use Auto Translate on iPad

After enabling Auto Translate and adjusting the settings, tap the microphone icon when your conversation starts. And that’s all there is to it! 

You and the person you’re speaking with will see the conversation in both languages on the screen. Then you can talk to each other comfortably without tapping another button. 

See your conversation translated on the screen

If the conversation does stop briefly, you’ll see the microphone icon display again. Just tap it to continue with your translated conversation.

When you finish, you can clear the conversation and get ready for the next one if you like. To do so, tap the three dots on the bottom right and select Clear Conversation. To confirm, tap Clear in the pop-up window.

Tap the three dots and select Clear Conversation

If you’d like to try similar apps, check out our list of the best translation apps.

  • How do you translate PDF files to English on iPad?

    To translate text from a document, you will need a third-party app. For instance, you can download Language Translator by Mate to your iPad. Then, select the text you want to translate in the PDF viewer and go to Share > Translate, and the app will provide a translation in a pop-up window.

  • How do I translate a page on Safari on iPad?

    Open the website in Safari and tap the aA icon on the left side of the address bar. Choose Translate to (Language of choice) > Enable Translation. To turn off translations, tap the aA icon again and tap View Original.

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