How to quickly translate any foreign text you see in Instagram stories

You can automatically translate Instagram stories text not in your native language into any of the more than 90 supported languages, and we show you how to do it in Instagram’s app.

Instagram now translates foreign text in stories

Instagram has had a built-in translation feature for years now, which makes it a cinch to quickly translate text in posts, captions and profile bios without going outside of the app.

On July 21, 2021, the company expanded the built-in translator to work with the Stories feature. “When you’re watching a story with text, you’ll get a notice if your set language is different than the one in the story,” reads Instagram’s announcement on Twitter.

Two screenshots showing how to translate Instagram stories text into English on iPhone

Instead of using a dedicated translation app, you can now have Instagram translate the text of a story with a single tap. Follow along to learn how to translate Instagram stories text into your native tongue without going outside of the app just to understand what someone is saying.

How to Translate Instagram stories text

Assuming your preferred language is available as a translation and there’s foreign text in a story, you should be able to see an option labeled “See translation” in the top-left corner.

  1. Launch Instagram on your iPhone.
  2. Open a story that includes a piece of text written in a foreign language.
  3. Choose “See translation” in the top-left corner of a story.

Doing so will pull up a card showing the original text and a translation.

Two screenshots showing how to translate Instagram stories text into Spanish on iPhone

If the text is written in an unsupported language, you won’t see this option.

What languages can Instagram translate in stories?

Instagram can translate stories text into more than 90 different languages to make sharing international content easier, and that includes Arabic, Hindi, Japanese, Portuguese and more.

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Translation availability is dependent on the language a piece of story text is written in, as well as your preferred language set in the Account → Language section of Instagram’s settings.

Does Instagram support audio translations?

Audio translation isn’t available “at this time,” the company clarifies.

That being said, Instagram in May 2021 added a useful new captions sticker that made it easy to automatically caption your stories. Specifically, this sticker will automatically transcribe speech in videos with a range of different styles available.

Currently, however, the captions sticker is limited to English and English-speaking countries.

With that in mind, it’s really not that much of a stretch to imagine that audio translation for videos in stories will eventually expand in the future to include non-English languages.

What else does Instagram translate?

In addition to stories text, Instagram will also automatically translate other content published on the platform, based on the language it’s written in and your own language set in the app.

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For instance, photo and video captions, as well as comments on any posts in your feed, are supported for one-tap translation. The same goes for bios in user profiles.

To ensure quality, Instagram translations are delivered by external vendor translators.

Wrapping it up

Instagram’s built-in translator has supported foreign text in captions, comments and profile bios since 2016. And with this feature expansion, now you can translate stories texts, too.

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And with a global audience, Instagram is certainly wise to continue investing in the development of features that make it easier for you to understand content in foreign languages whilst making the photo-sharing service as inclusive and accessible as possible.

Image credits: Instagram