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Google Translate on Smartphones

Installing Google Translate

  • First, go to either Google Play or Apple App Store and install the app on your phone. 

Google Translate Icon


  • Multilinguals consist of 361 stories of The Red Well-Read Reader that are readily translatable into some 60 audible languages and many more inaudible ones.​


  1. Aids with Pronunciation 

  2. Builds Vocabulary

  3. Increases General Knowledge and Enhance Cultural Awareness

  4. Improves Reading Ability

  5. Helps with Learning Additional Languages 


Pronunciation, Vocabulary, General Knowledge and Cultural Awareness

There are two ways to look up words.

One way is by tapping on a word, then once again tapping on Define:

  • If you were to tap on "fjord," for example, you would see a likeness of Photo 1 below.

  • Then if you were to tap on "Define" on the superimposed bar, you would be able to hear "fjord" pronounced, as well as see a sketch of a woman's face as she pronounces the word. See Photo 2.

  • Plus, you would be given the opportunity to practice saying the word yourself, and your pronunciation would be checked. If correct, you would be told, Good Job! If incorrect, you would be given some tips to help say the word properly.

Photo 2

Pronunciation, Vocab, etc.
Multilinguals - Set Nine, Story 289 with "fjord" selected
Shows "fjord" in a box with ability to have it pronounced, to practice pronouncing it oneself, and a model of a woman's lower fact that will move and say the word when clicked

Photo 1

The other way to look up definitions is by tapping on some word, which will then appear on the bottom of your display, then pressing and dragging it upward. 

  • For example, if you were to drag "fjord," upward, as shown in Photo 1, you would instantly get the pictures that are seen below in Photo 3:

Several Photo images of fjords

Photo 3



To make sure that Google Translate is in the right mode for selecting text, we'll use Story 289, the first story of Multilinguals Set Nine, to illustrate.


After downloading the app, kindly follow these three steps:

  1. Tap the box next to the 3 horizontal dots pictured in Photo 4.

  2. If Totally Literate does not appear as it is shown in Photo 5, then tap the blue "+" sign on the bottom of the screen and type in 

  3. Next tap "Tabs" then "Done."

Home Page.png

Photo 4

Photo 5

To translate Story 289, our example, please follow these steps:

One: Press down on the first word of the story until a thump is felt. See Photo 6.

TwoPress the right "teardrop" and drag it down until the whole story is covered in blue. (You might have to release your finger to scroll farther down on the story to capture it all. If so, press the teardrop again and drag it the rest of the way.)  See Photo 7.

  • If after selecting the story, the bar with Copy, Share, Select all is not visible, pressing on the blue area should bring it back into sight.

Capturing first word Story 289

Photo 6

copy 289 (Mar 8, 2022 12_47_39 AM).png

Photo 7

ThreeTap the 3 vertical dots to the right of "Select all" then tap on "Translate" from the pop-up menu that should appear superimposed over the story. See Photo 8.

Four: Now you can listen to the story in English or French, as we are prepared to do. See Photo 9.

Five: To listen to this story in a different language, just tap on "French" and make your selection from the pop-up menu.

Six: If you tap the 3 vertical dots to the right of Google Translate, you can reverse the order so that French will appear above English.

Note: In this mode, words are not highlighted in color as they are read aloud.

Photo Shows how to translate a story
Photo shows how a story can be heard in English and French

Photo 8

Photo 9

Read Out Loud

To access this mode, you should tap the 3 horizontal bars on the bottom of your phone's display, then select "Read aloud" from the chart menu. As soon as you do, the narration will start.  See photos 10 and 11 below.​


Read Out Loud
Chart Menu

Photo 10

Photo 11

Notes: Read Out Loud:

  1. As each word is read aloud, it will be shaded in yellow and the line it's on will be shaded in light blue.

  2. The navigation controls will appear at the top of your screen. (When a story is being read, however, they will disappear. To make them reappear, merely press upward on your display.)

  3. You can read one story after another or jump around and read one story here and another there. But before moving to a story out of numeric succession, you must pause the narration, then press the first word of the new story until you feel a thump.

  4. By tapping the cogwheel opposite the navigation controls, you can change to another English speaker, and you can change the speaker's speed of delivery.

  5. Holding your phone horizontally makes the print larger as well as makes the rhyming words stand out.

  6. All the Pronunciation and Definition tools are available while in the reading mode. But before accessing them, you must pause "Read aloud."

  7. When through reading, merely tap the "x" to the left of the voice controls on the top of your screen.

Self-Study, Teacher-Assisted Study

To get to the screen depicted as in Photo 12, we'll use ignored to illustrate. Please press on this word, then tap the 3 vertical dots next to "Select all," as shown above in Photos 6 and 7. Next, tap on "Translate," as shown in Photo 8. Now we can hear the word in English or French. Should we want to hear it in a different language, all we need to do is tap on "French" then make a selection. 

Self-Study, etc.
Google Translate Box allowing to hear "Ignored" in Eng or "ignore" in French

Photo 12

To get to a blank screen, merely tap your Google Translate app. Then you can practice saying words or sentences in whichever language you desire, perhaps in French. See photos 13 and 14.

Google Translate Box with option to paste or to say something in either Eng or French

Photo 13

Shows Conversation Box with a sentence in English and French

Photo 14

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Once in this mode, Google Translate can be used in several ways. The following are a few of them --

  • Students can use the mic to learn how to spell words in English or in other languages. Students who have some measure of literacy can use the keyboard to input words. And students who are taking a foreign language at school can use it to check their homework.

  • Parents can use it as a teaching aid.

  • Teachers and tutors of foreign languages can use it face to face or on Zoom. See Photo 15 below:

Shows 2 cartoon characters, one teaching the other on a smartphone phone

Photo 15

Note: The Microsoft Translator is an excellent alternative to Google Translate, especially for self-teaching and one-to-one ​teacher-assisted learning. Click the icon below to get the app.

Bing Translator.png
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