Maps is a very useful tool when traveling abroad. However, there are times when travelers find it difficult to pronounce the names of places displayed on Google Maps correctly. Pointing to the name of a street or neighborhood on the phone is not socially graceful. To address this issue, Google may soon launch the ability to utter the name of a location in the local language, complete with regional pronunciation.
In addition, Maps will also allow users to look for words on Google Translate without leaving Google Maps. The feature will be available on iOS and Android devices this month. Some of the languages that the application will support are Russian, Spanish, French, Mandarin and Japanese. Google expects to launch the feature in more than 50 languages shortly.
Tal Snir, Google’s senior product manager, asserted “We’re helping people pronounce tricky words and understand the meaning of those words.”
Google Maps pronunciation feature may reduce awkward interactions
Travelers have increasingly noted how difficult it is to visit countries where English is not spoken. Studies show many business travelers often face awkward situations because they are unable to pronounce the name of the places they visit correctly. This can often mean offended hosts or worse, lost business deals. In recent years, many applications such as DuoLingo, Babbel, and Drops have become popular. However, they either require individuals to devote time to learn or know how to use the application well.
This can be inconvenient to frequent travelers who simply want to make sure they pronounce the names of places correctly. While pronouncing the names of cities and towns maybe easier, pronouncing the names of individual streets and neighborhoods can be far complex. Google Maps’ new feature may help travelers avoid such situations and make their journeys less awkward.
Pronouncing correctly is a sign of etiquette
Studies show people are less friendly than they used to be towards travelers. This is probably due to an increasing perception of regional cultures and identities being threatened by more dominant cultures. Google Maps may help reduce such sentiments, if travelers start using the new feature.