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Google Maps will speak the names of foreign places so you can ask for directions without shame

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The app will say the name of a place in a country’s local language

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Google Maps is incredibly useful when you’re navigating a country you’ve never been to before. (I couldn’t have survived a recent trip to Japan without it.) But sometimes, you still need to ask a real person to point you in the right direction, and you might not know how to say the name of the place you’re trying to get to. Soon, though, Google Maps may be able to help with that by speaking the name or address of a location in a country’s native language.

Here’s a GIF showing how the new feature works. I particularly like how you can look up additional phrases in Google Translate without leaving Google Maps, in case you want to continue a conversation or just say thanks:

Google tells The Verge that the feature will begin to roll out this month on both Android and iOS, with support for Cantonese, French, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Spanish, Russian, and more. The company’s blog post on the announcement says it will support 50 languages at launch, with support for even more “on the way.”