New Smartphone App Translates Text From Images For 50 Languages

Travel News — By Carlo Alcos on September 10, 2010 at 7:00 am

Now this is an app that would have been worth it’s cost tenfold when I traveled in Russia and China a few years ago. It’s one thing to use a phrasebook to translate roman letter-based languages, but when the alphabet is unrecognizable, that task becomes almost insurmountable. Ordering a dish in a small Chinese town was near impossible without a good amount of guess work.

According to, Transperfect has developed a smartphone app for Apple that has the ability to translate text from an image into one of 50 languages. Not only can it translate pictures taken with the camera, but it can also do the same for images already stored on the device or from a browser. This would make it extremely handy when ordering from a menu or trying to read a street sign. Users will also have the option of connecting to a human translator — for a fee — for non-translatable fonts and cultural references.

The launch of this application comes only a few months after Google unveiled the most recent edition of its Goggles app. The previous version was able to identify landmarks from a picture and give relevant information. The latest added the functionality of reading and translating text.

[Image: avlxyz / Flickr]

Tags: image, iPhone, translator, transperfect

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