WeChat is one of the most popular messaging and payment apps used in Mainland China. Though it is targeted for Chinese users, there are so many good features that anyone can use it. In our earlier articles, we have explained how to top up mobiles and transfer money using WeChat account. In this article let us explore, how to use WeChat translation feature to translate content.
How to Use WeChat Translation in iPhone App?
There are three ways you can use translation feature in WeChat iOS app for iPhone and iPad:
- Translate in individual chat
- Translate in group chat
- Scan documents and translate content
Setting Up Language in WeChat
Before start using translation, you first need to setup your language in WeChat. WeChat will use the language to offer translation services. For example, if you set English as your language then you can translate Chinese or any other message to English language.
Follow the below instructions to setup your language, we explain here with iOS app but the instructions are same for Android app also.
Open WeChat app, tap on “Me” tab on the lower right corner and go to “Settings” section.
Tap on “General” and then “Language” option.
Choose your language, in our case we choose English as the app language.
Now, let us explain how to use WeChat translation function.
1. Translate in Individual Chat
Open a chat with an individual person. Press and hold the message till the time you see a popup appears with many options. Tap on the right side arrow mark on the popup and select “Translate” option.
WeChat will translate the selected message into the language you setup in the app settings.
Related: How to send red packet in WeChat?
2. Translate in Group Chat
This is same as individual chat. Go to any of the group chat, tap and hold on the message. Tap the right arrow on the popup and select “Translate” option.
After translation, the option in the popup will change to “Untranslate”. You can press that to remove the translation and show only the original message.
3. Scan and Translate Content from Document and Images
WeChat also offers a superb function for scanning and translating the content from a document or an image. Here the translation will work both from Chinese to English as well as from English to Chinese. You can select any of the images / documents already available on your phone or scan a new one for translating.
Open WeChat, tap on “Discover” tab from the bottom dock and select “Scan” option.
Basically this option is to scan QR Code for payment or other actions. You can see “Scan” and “Translate” options available at the bottom. Remember these options will change based on your language setup. For English language, you will only see two options.
Tap on the “Translate” option. You will see the screen like below:
- WeChat will show you the message “Align Chinese/English text and take photo”. If the visibility is low and dark then WeChat will show you “Tap to turn light on” option” to switch on the torchlight.
- Tap on the down arrow to go back to previous screen for scanning.
- Select the image icon to go to photo album and choose an image.
- Tap on the white button to scan the content.
Scan Document or Image
If you have paper document then simply align with the phone’s display and tap the white button to scan. If you want to scan an image, tap the image icon and choose the image from the photo album then scan it.
After scanning the content from the image or document, WeChat will convert the content and show the translation. You will have two options – toggle between the original and translated content and download the image to photo album.
Let’s Test the Quality
Let us test two cases from Chinese to English to see the quality of translation. Below is the first case, a message from a VPN app showing in Chinese in the original image. The translation from WeChat shows the English content similar to the app message.
Here is a second case; an English message showing from another VPN app. Let us translate using WeChat from English to Chinese.
Results of Translation
In our opinion, frankly WeChat translation service is better than Google translate in many ways.
- Google is simply blocked in China. So unless you have VPN, the only option for foreigners is Bing which is not up to the mark.
- WeChat translation allows scanning any document/image from or outside your phone.
- The quality of the translation is good which makes WeChat as one of the essential app for any expat living in China.
Is there a way to have translate AUTOMATICALLY on so it’s like every message is automatically translated? I’m the only English speaking person in a group chat so clicking each message to translate individually is difficult.
After I type a message and want to have it translate into Chinese the drop down menu says copy forward and there is an arrow to the right. How do I get the translate icon to pop up?
Good day, please i need your help, when i hold the message of my chinese friends and check the options that follows i dont find the translate option, but if i send a message in chinese to them that i used the google translate, when i hold my message there is option for translate, please how can i change the translate from mine to that of my chinese friends? this is really giving me headache because i had to uninstall and install the app again, yet i cant find translate option in the messages sent to me
I have used this translation function in chats before, did not know about the camera…thanks for that.
Question: My phone is set to English. I do not speak Chinese, but I do use WeChat to communicate with Chinese family members. I can translate their messages to me, but I see no way, IN THE APP, to translate my English reply to Chinese. My workaround is to type into Google translate, then paste that output into WeChat, which is a pain. Is there a better way, or something in the app itself that I am missing?
You are not missing anything, there are no options to translate within the text box after typing.