Translate Foreign Menus With the Amazing iPhone PicTranslator [the future is now]


PicTranslator is an astonishing new iPhone app that turns the camera into a point-and-shoot translator. Take a photo and the app will automatically recognize text, translate it, and even read the text in the pictures out loud. It's like something out of the future! The app costs only 99 cents, and you can also purchase additional language packs for another 99 cents. The video below demonstrates a perfect application: translating restaurant menus while abroad. Needs to be seen to be believed.

We gave it a spin, and it's surprisingly precise. Surely the accuracy will drop in darkly-lit environments, but if you're in France and don't know the difference between rognons and ris de veau, this could come in very, very handy. Not limited to menus, but any printed text can be translated, whether it's in newspapers or signs or maps or whatever. It also translates Greek and Cyrillic alphabets. The only catch is that you need internet access and it takes around 10 to 60 seconds to provide a translation. But... wow, the future is now.

Video: PicTranslator in Action

[PicTranslator (iTunes Store) via Lifehacker]

—Raphael Brion

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Comment Feed

  1. 10001

    i want one that can translate Chinese menus. It would make Chinatown insanely accessible.

  2. maxpickle

    Amazing. One more, of so very many reasons I cannot wait for my vacation.

  3. One more brick pulled out of the magic wall of travel. Menus always read better in the original. And in countries where you need to point, pointing to the neighboring table works pretty well. All I know about the world came from deciphering. Rarely been burned by ignorance (got liver instead of veal in Paris once, was seduced by another waiter there insisting "raifort" was "very special" when it was only horseradish). Interaction should be part of eating out. Coming home with a few new menu words is always worth the journey. But then my phone can't even take a picture. . .

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