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How to translate speech using the Action button on iPhone

In this tutorial, we will show you how to set up the Action button on your iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max to translate words and sentences into another language.

Let’s pretend you’re visiting France this summer, but you do not know how to speak French. So, to converse or get help from local people there, you can use Google’s or Apple’s Translate app, but this will require you to go inside the application every time and fiddle with the options there.

To make things quick and easy, you can set your iPhone’s Action button to translate text for you. All you will have to do is press a button and speak what you need to convert to another language.

Related: 29 things to do with the Action button

Translate using the Action button on iPhone
Open the Settings app on your iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 15 Pro Max.
Tap Action Button.
Swipe until you reach the Translate option.
Now, go out of the Settings app by swiping up or tapping the back button from the top left corner.

Use the Action button for conversing in another language
Now that you have set your iPhone’s Action button to translate phrases, you can use it to have a conversation with someone in another language. To do that:

Press and hold the Action button.
Speak what you want to translate to. For instance, I am asking a local person if he can recommend a good restaurant nearby that serves chicken.
My iPhone will pick up what I speak in English and then convert it to French.
It will also speak the French translation so the other person can listen to it. I can press the volume-up button to make it louder.
I can also tap the play button to have my phone re-speak the French translation or tap the Dynamic Island to go inside the Translate app.

Change the translation language
To translate into another language, you will have to make the changes in the iOS Translate app.

Open the Translate app and go to the Translation tab.
Tap the language from the top to change the source language (the language you will speak).
Tap the current language in the second box and change it to the one you want to translate to.
Now, press & hold the Action button, and it will translate to this new language.

Don’t have an iPhone 15 Pro or 15 Pro Max?
If you have a non-pro iPhone 15 or an older model, you can invoke Siri and ask it something like ‘Convert to French. Is there a bus stop nearby?’

Alternatively, check out our handy tutorial that explains five ways to get the functionality of the Action button on unsupported iPhones.

On a related note:

How to translate speech using the Action button on iPhone

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