Uber’s new feature will help you avoid language barriers while traveling abroad

Feb 28, 2020

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We’ve all been there: You open your Uber app in a foreign country, excited to start your day of sightseeing (or crash at your hotel), only to realize … you have no idea what your driver is saying.

The good news? Uber’s newest feature could change all of that.

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As of today, the ride-hailing platform is introducing a built-in language translator that will make it easier for you to communicate with your driver, no matter where in the world you’re using Uber.

The feature is built for “situations in which a driver or rider maintains different preferred languages, or when English is a secondary language” according to Uber. Translation is available for the pre-generated messages — such as “Be right there” and “I am here” — as well as any custom messages you send your driver (and vice versa). The feature will be available when the driver is en route and after her or she has arrived.

If you’re sending an English message to a driver whose preferred language is Spanish, for example, your messages will appear to your driver in Spanish. The conversation will simultaneously appear to you in English, and to your driver in Spanish. This cool new feature translates text with the tap of a button, and works across more than 100 languages, including Spanish, Hindi, Greek, Arabic, Polish and Japanese.

“It’s … important for riders and drivers to be able to clearly communicate with each other,” Uber said in a statement. Uber will be rolling out this feature to all riders in the coming days, so keep your eyes peeled on the app.

Related: The best credit cards for Lyft and Uber

If you’re a frequent Uber rider, be sure to check out our guide to maximizing Uber’s loyalty program. You might even be able to pick up some freebies and discounts along the way.

Featured image of Uber and Tourism & Events Queensland.

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