A creative tool to help break down translation barriers.
Mobile phones are wonderful tools for us to better communicate with our fellow man. There are countless apps out there that provide access through barriers that keep us apart and even some that make it possible to navigate difficult paths between languages. Apalon apps has a great iOS app that makes language translation as easy as snapping a photo with your phone with Snap & Translate.
Snap & Translate is a recognition-based app that allows users to snap a quick picture of text or an object and have it translated into a new language. This technology can be useful in helping people learn new languages, navigate unfamiliar cities, reading menus, and communicating with others who don’t speak the same language. Snap & Translate uses a library of 46 different languages to pull translations from including:
Afrikaans, Arabic, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Haitian, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Malay, Maltese, Norwegian, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Simplified Chinese, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Thai, Traditional Chinese, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese, Welsh
To use the app, you simply download it, take a picture, wait for the app to recognize it, and get the translation of the language you’ve chosen. You can then listen to the translation through the app and/or copy and share the translation with others. For complete access to all Snap & Translate features, you will need to allow the app to access the Camera and your Photos library.
When I was a Freshman in high school, I was introduced to the idea of learning a foreign language. I chose to learn French and did well with reading and writing the language. When it came to speaking it though, I was a little out of my element. So, I’ve never really wanted to travel to a foreign country where I couldn’t speak my native language. This app really does make it easy to function somewhere you don’t know the language. Say you are in a restaurant and want to ask someone to pass the salt, but you don’t the word for salt. You can take a quick picture of the salt shaker and have the app show you what the correct word is.
I tested out the features of the app with several different objects and written documents. You will see from my examples that I even took a photo of a computer screen and the app still recognized the text. The reading function is a little off as it reads straight through a bunch of text without pausing. I would think to someone listening to the rushed computer voice, it might be a bit confusing. Also, the translation suggestions are not 100% exact. For example, I snapped a photo of a Diet Coke can. The first suggestion that came up with ‘aluminum can’. Some of the other translations that came up were ‘product,’ ‘drink,’ and ‘tin can.’ While all of those are correct options, the product name or ‘soda’ weren’t among the suggestions. To me, this is not a big, but I thought I should mention it.
I think that Snap & Translate is a very clever app. It’s very easy to use and even though it’s a little more expensive than some apps out there, it’s worth it because it’s so quick to translate and not overly complicated.
DOWNLOAD – Snap & Translate – iOS – $9.99