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Google Translate will let you read signs, in real time, with your phone camera

Google added a new, very snazzy feature to its Google Translate app on Wednesday -- the ability to translate signs in real-time.

The new feature comes as part of a free update to the app for iOS and Android devices, available from the App Store and Google Play. Here's a look at it in action:

The feature works to translate between English and French, German, Italian, Portuguese Russian and Spanish. According to the update note, the feature should work even without an Internet or data connection.

The company said in a blog post that it's planning to expand the number of languages it supports in the future.

Today's update also improves the app's speaking translation feature. Pick the languages you want to translate between, and then tap the microphone -- the app will automatically detect which language you're using, and translate it into the other language of your choice after a moment's delay. This works best for small sentences, as is the case with most automatic translations, but it's easy to see how it'd be useful in a pinch.