The love for traveling the world is often accompanied by the discomfort of being a “foreigner” simply because of the language barrier. Not speaking the local language is quite a handicap, especially when one needs to read signboards, directions, etc. Sure there are dictionaries and one could hope for an English-speaking, soft-tongued local to direct you, but what if your smartphone could do the trick for you? Such an Android, iPhone app offers to translate French, Spanish and Italian to English by just using your smartphone’s inbuilt camera. WordLens, an app for Android and iPhone can translate the text that you view through the lens of the camera to English, and it does it just there and then replaces the text in the original location with the translated one – in practically ‘real-time’. The way this works is that it uses text recognition to make sense of the text (word or phrase), and then using an automatic translation software the given text is translated, which is then put in place of the original text. 

View the video below, to know exactly what the app can do for you – 

As it can be seen in the video, the app works brilliantly to translate texts and place them instead of the original immediately. However, the app translates text quite literally, and hence not all translated texts may be grammatically correct. For eg: As you can see in the video, one of the translated texts read – 'Recent attack of shark' and 'Tongue Bolivian with a sauce spicy of anchovies'. These translations do not fit in the grammatically correct sentence group, but such translations work best, especially when all you want it to do  – is read those road signs or a menu, among other things. 

iPhone users would find this familiar, since the app has been around for them for some 18 months, reports Daily Mail. Now, however, it is available on two major smartphone platforms catering to a wider set of languages, added the report. 

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It gets the job done!

In his statement to TechCrunch, the app’s developer – Otavio Good was quoted as saying, “It tries to find out what the letters are and then looks in the dictionary. Then it draws the words back on the screen in translation.” Good added that he plans to introduce support for more languages, and a reader for the blind is already something that he has got on his mind, which he says would read aloud to the blind, the words the app spots on signs (Impressive!). He adds this, while saying that, “The translation isn’t perfect, but it gets the point across.”

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