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Can't decide if it's 'Niece' or 'Nice'? Let Google Maps say it for you

Google Maps
Google Maps (Image credit: Joe Maring / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google Maps will soon get the ability to pronounce location names and addresses in a country's native language for you.
  • The feature is set to arrive later this month.
  • Over 50 languages are supported at launch, including Cantonese, French, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Spanish, Russian, and more.

Have you ever been on a business trip or a vacation and couldn't, for the life of you, explain where you wanted to go because you didn't know how to pronounce a place's name correctly? Well, Google has you handled, with the company announcing that Maps will soon do the speaking for you.

The addition is courtesy of better integration between Maps and Google Translate. When you're on foreign shores and looking for directions, Maps will now show a speaker icon next to location names. Click on it, and you'll have the option of having Google speak — and display as text — the place's name and address in the local language. Even more useful, you can continue the conversation by heading over to Google Translate, proper, with a single click, as shown below:

Text-to-speech in Google Maps

Source: Google (Image credit: Source: Google)

Maps will also be smart enough to automatically determine if you need help translating something. For example, if your device's language is set to English, the speaker icon will not appear when searching for Broadway, but it will show up when you're trying to find Teen Talwar in Karachi.

The new text-to-speech capabilities for Maps will roll out within the month, according to Google, with support for 50 languages at launch. These include Cantonese, French, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Spanish, and Russian, with more languages joining the fray in the future.

1 Comment
  • Google Maps can't properly pronounce half of the towns and street names in North America as it is, and I'm supposed to trust it to do this? Perhaps they should first focus on not sending people the wrong way down one-way streets and such before worrying about pronounciation, which is an issue for them already and not a feature they should be advertising....