I travel a ton, often to countries where my language skills are a little lacking. For those times, Google Translate has become an invaluable tool. The app helped me have a conversation about missing my train with a station agent in southern France that didn’t speak English and has even helped me have conversations with people in my building in San Francisco when my Spanish skills failed me.
In most cases I’ll speak into the app to get a translation or type a word I don’t know into the app to see what it means. When I was in Tokyo last month; however, I wasn’t able to type those words in. That’s where Translate’s camera comes into play.
The camera feature in Google Translate allows you to essentially point your camera at text written in another language and then get a translation into your native one.
I find it’s great for reading signs and understanding menus in particular. Now it’s also available in a lot more languages.
This week Google brought 60 more languages into Instant Camera. Here’s a list of all of the supported ones now:
When you have the app downloaded, you can access the feature by tapping the camera icon and then pointing your phone’s camera at the text you need to be translated.