Word Up

A Personal Translator for Your Pocket

UD - Word Lens In your travels abroad, you and the language barrier have encountered a few mishaps.

Just to name one: that time in Tokyo when you ordered salmon sashimi and got a live octopus and a gong, delivered by two Iron Chefs and a member of the yakuza.

So, long story short: you need a translator.

Which brings us to Word Lens, a new app that uses your phone’s camera to translate signs and menus in real time, available online now.

Think of this as having your own personal translator in your pocket at all times of the day, whispering sweet Spanish-to-English nothings into your ear. After you download the app, you’ll point your camera at Spanish text, and the English translation will display in its place. It’s like the Rosetta Stone program, but without all the learning.

So say you’re in Pamplona and you just finished running with the bulls. You go to Spain’s equivalent of Bob’s Steak House—La Casa Bistec de Roberto—with your new compadres. But the menu’s in Spanish, and the chef insists that you order for everyone (something about you being el torero). So you casually point your phone at the menu, find Spain’s equivalent of the grilled pork chop and order a round for the table.

And because your travels encounter many accents, they’ll soon offer more languages.

Though, sadly, nothing that will help you with the bulls.

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