Optus announces real-time call translating for customers

Optus has announced a new feature that it’s now allowing customers to trial: Optus Real Time Call Translate. It’s a new technology intended to break down language barriers, by translating real-time conversations over the phone between people with two different spoken languages.

At the moment, the service is still in beta, so don’t expect it to be completely polished in the near future. We’ll be detailing everything you need to know about Optus Real Time Call Translate in the article below.

What is the Optus Real Time Call Translate?

Optus Real Time Call Translate is a feature that allows two people on a call to have their voices translated as they are speaking, so that each language can be understood by the other user. It’s a great idea if somebody struggles with a specific language, and needs to get through to a call service where only one language is available.

The service uses Google Cloud AI machine learning, so you won’t need a third person on the line to get fast, accurate translations.

How do I use Optus Real Time Call Translate?

You can use Optus Real Time Call Translate if you’re an Optus customer. All you need to do is be on an Optus phone plan and enable the Call Translate beta in the My Optus app. You can do this by opening the app, tapping “Call Translate” button and tapping “Join the beta trial”.

From here, it will be activated. Optus states that, with the option activated, both you and the recipient of a phone call will receive a pre-call voice that says that the call will be translated for both users. This will likely be the same when Optus Real Time Call Translate exits its beta period. Emergency calls and calls while roaming will not be translated.

What languages can Optus Real Time Call Translate translate?

The Optus Real Time Call Translate can translate 10 languages: Arabic, English, Filipino, Greek, Hindi, Italian, Mandarin, Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese. The FAQ page of the service specifies that the service will launch with these translation options available, but there’s the potential more can be added in the future.

Is Optus Real Time Call Translate the only option for call translating?

Optus Real Time Call Translate is an easy choice for somebody after an over-the-phone translation without much difficulty. However, there are some other options out there, which could work for people who only need a translator from time to time, or for customers who don’t want an Optus plan.

  • If you have an extra device, you can use Google Translate to speak in another language for free. Just select your language, speak into the device running Google Translate, and play the translated audio into the call. Google Translate can also pick up your caller’s language and translate it, although don’t expect it to be a perfect translation.
  • Callers can use Chatlas (an app on both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store) to get a real-life translator to be connected to a call, although rates apply.
  • Other apps exist that can translate phone calls in real-time, such as Odle and Phone Call Translator. Keep in mind that rates apply.

Optus phone plans

The Optus Real Time Call Translate feature is currently only available to Optus customers, and it’s unlikely that it will be available to customers of other telcos. If you’re interested in this feature, pick up an Optus phone plan.

The following table shows selected published Optus postpaid plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

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