Google Meet is solving one of the biggest issues with video calls

Google Meet
(Image credit: Shutterstock)
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Holding video calls with colleagues or contacts around the world may soon run a lot smoother thanks to a new update to Google Meet (opens in new tab).

The video conferencing (opens in new tab) platform has revealed it is now testing live translation captions for users, translating English into Spanish, French, Portuguese and German.

The function is currently only available for meetings conducted in English, but Google hopes to widen this out to other languages soon.

Live captions

"Live translated captions help video call participants communicate better by translating a spoken language to captions in another language," Google said in a Workspace Updates blog post (opens in new tab) announcing the news.

"By helping users consume the content in a preferred language, you can help equalize information sharing, learning, and collaboration, and make sure your meetings are as effective as possible."

Google Meet live translated captions

(Image credit: Google)

The company notes that the feature could be helpful for global businesses bringing all their employees together for all-hands meetings and training programs, meaning all attendees are able to get the most out of such a call.

But it could also help students who speak a different language to their teacher or lecturer, enabling online learning to become more effective and useful for all.

Translated captions are in beta testing now, and are available to interested customers for Google Workspace Business Plus, Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, Education Plus, and Teaching & Learning Upgrade.

The news is the latest upgrade to come to Google Meet in recent weeks as the platform looks to keep pace with the likes of Microsoft Teams and Zoom.

Perhaps most usefully, Google Meet upgraded its web platform with a new tweak which it hopes will lead to improved visibility (opens in new tab), automatically detecting when a user appears underexposed on a call and enhancing the brightness of their feed in order to make them more visible.

The service also recently added a new settings panel (opens in new tab) allowing users to quickly access effects such as background blur, background images and styles before and during a video call.

Mike Moore
Deputy Editor, TechRadar Pro

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.