How to use Siri to learn a new language in iOS 11

Siri has a few notable improvements in iOS 11, among which is the ability to translate words and phrases into different languages. This can be particularly useful for overseas travelers, especially if you just need a quick translation every now and then. Siri can now translate from English into the following languages:

  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Mandarin
  • Spanish

Apple says that it will add more languages to Siri translation over time.

How to use Sir translation in iOS 11

  1. Hold down on the iPhone's Home button or say "Hey Siri."
  2. Say something like "Translate [word or phrase] into [your chosen language]."
  3. Tap the play button to have Siri say the phrase again.

Activate Siri, say what you want translated, tap play button

If you elect to type to Siri instead of speak, translation works the same way, except, of course, that you type your question instead of speaking it.

Siri Translation pairs well with iOS 11's improvements for follow-up questions for Siri, so you can ask, for instance, "How do you say 'where is the museum' in German," get the answer, tap the Siri button again, and follow up with "How about in Italian" and get the correct translation. Additionally, if you keep asking Siri to translate words or phrases without leaving your initial session, Siri will continue translating in the most recent language you asked for without needing to be directed to use it.

Questions?

If you've got any more questions about using Siri translation in iOS 11, please let us know in the comments.

Joseph Keller is the former Editor in Chief of iMore. An Apple user for almost 20 years, he spends his time learning the ins and outs of iOS and macOS, always finding ways of getting the most out of his iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac.

3 Comments
  • I don't know what translation service Apple are using, but bare in mind that machine translation can often give inaccurate results. Once you're confident enough with a language, you can try setting Siri to said language to practice your speaking and listening
  • Siri translate doesn’t work in Canada. Siri says it can’t translate Canadian English. What a joke. As usual a new product that many features will only work for US. Typical Apple still releasing incomplete product.
  • I have the same concern. For me its keeps saying it can't translate Indian English to (say) French.
    English is English and its pronounced the same way in Indian English, US English, Canadian, British or any English. Does it (Siri) mean to say it cannot translate the accent ? In that case, even if I type (instead of speak) to translate then also get the same answer from Siri. Bleh!!!