The other week, a friend posted a screen shot of the Google Translate app translating an Italian sign into English in real time. Even though the translated outcome (“Does Life Goes Then Lived Ensure To”) was a little, ahem, imprecise, the real-time concept is pretty darn cool. In addition to translating text live, it can also translate live conversations and handwriting that’s written on the screen.
Based on this review, it looks like the app still has some kinks to work out, but assuming they are worked out and it does a decent job translating into most languages, it has the potential to be a game-changer for all your travels abroad. Need help deciphering a street sign? Just point your phone to the sign. The whole menu is written in German? Use your phone to “read” it. At the Louvre and can’t read the exhibit descriptions? Not anymore if you have this app!
While the live text translation is currently only supported for six languages, I’m pretty excited about where this is headed. It’s just a matter of time until someone figures out how to more accurately perform the translation (in Google Translate or any other similar app), and when that’s done, travel abroad is going to way easier — especially if you’re the type of traveler that prefers to explore sites on your own.
What language translation apps have you used abroad? I’d love to hear your recommendations!