Google Meet: Calls now captioned live

After five months of beta, Google has decided to offer live translated captions in Google Meet to some Workspace users.

This feature allows you to translate a language spoken by a user into subtitles in another language. This is a handy feature for multinational organizations that host meetings in different languages, especially since online video meetings have become a must-have for many.

The beta, launched in September, supported English meetings translated into Spanish, French, Portuguese, and German. The same is true in the version generally available for certain editions of Google Workspace. Translated captions are visible on Google Meet on the web and on the Meet mobile apps.

Google ahead of Microsoft

The launch of this live translation feature puts Google Meet ahead of Microsoft Teams, which currently offers a real-time captioning and transcription service, but only in English, for Teams meetings on certain levels of Office 365. According to OnMSFT, Microsoft in September extended live subtitles from English to 27 languages, but these are not translated from one language to another.

Google claims that its translated captions help “equalize information sharing, learning and collaboration” and can be particularly useful for general meetings or training meetings with teams spread around the world. The feature can also prove useful in the field of education, where educators need to communicate with students, parents and stakeholders.

The American giant is also keeping the beta version of the live translated subtitles open for another “several months”. The feature will be available to meeting attendees if the meeting is hosted by a beta user or with a qualifying edition of Google Workspace.

A feature for paying users

Google Live Closed Captions are available for meetings hosted by people with premium Workspace subscriptions, including Workspace Business Plus, Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, Teaching & Learning Upgrade, and Education Plus.

They are not available for meetings hosted by Google Workspace Essentials, Business Starter, Business Standard, Enterprise Essentials, Google Workspace for Education Fundamentals, Google Workspace for Education Standard, Frontline and Nonprofits subscribers, as well as G Suite customers Basic and Business. It is also not available to users with a personal Google Account.

Google clarified that all Google Meet users can use standard captions during a video call. Live subtitles are available in the Asia Pacific and Europe regions for English, French, German, Portuguese (Brazil), Spanish (Mexico), and Spanish (Spain). In North America and Latin America, users can choose German, Portuguese (Brazil), Spanish (Mexico).


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