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A Phone that Translates Menus

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I am always finding myself in awkward ordering predicaments when roaming the globe eating at restaurants. On a recent trip to Peru, I found myself staring at a fist-sized Amazonian snail in one of Lima's top new restaurants. My rusty Spanish had obviously failed me as I thought I had ordered Amazonian cod (that would have been paiche, oops). Until my Spanish improves, I'm relying on Word Lens to prevent future menu blunders. The new iPhone app translates printed text on-the-fly. If you point the phone's camera at something written in Spanish, and it shows up in English on the screen. It's not 100% glitch-free (wrong words will flash on the screen when the text you're reading isn't perfectly clear), but it definitely works. It only translates Spanish for now and while the app itself is free, the Spanish-to-English capability is a $4.99 in-app purchase (so I'm assuming more languages are coming).

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