Your Phone Camera Now Instantly Translates Japanese Text

By Holly Brockwell on at

Not enough people know that the Google Translate app includes a ridiculously cool feature called Word Lens that lets you hold your camera over some text and see a live translation. Google announced today that Word Lens now works in Japanese, meaning you can hold your phone up to a sign in Osaka and impress your friends by knowing exactly what it means. It even works offline, which you probably should be if you're in Japan without a roaming plan.

Word Lens has been available in various languages for a while, but Japanese wasn't one of them. Prior to now, you could translate Japanese text by taking a photo and running it through Google Translate, but the cool thing about Word Lens is that it's live - you can move your camera down a restaurant menu and watch all the symbols change into things you can read. It's certainly a heck of a lot quicker than night school - and free in the Google Translate app on Android and iOS. This is the kind of awesome thing Google suddenly discontinues because not enough people use it, so download it and tell all your friends, k? Thanks. [Google via Mashable]

Photo: Google