Worldictionary Instant Translator is a new written-word translator that could prove very handy.
Though it doesn’t offer the smooth, built-into-camera-view augmented reality experience of the Word Lens app, we found it easy to use; a cross-hair in the middle of the camera viewer means you can zero in on what you need translating- good if you have a pass knowledge of a foreign language but you’ve come unstuck on one word.
The app offers more than the Word Lens’ limited Spanish to English option, with functionality in
traditional Chinese, simplified Chinese, English, Japanese, Korean, French, Germany, Italian, and Spanish.
Keep on “view and translate” and words will appear above the cross-hair, with a translation displayed for the currently selected. (We found our results were powered by Google translate, so be prepared for the not-so-occassional funny answer.)
You can also take a picture in-app, and look up several words, which is great for more complicated signs. We tried it out on our Japanese PSP, and it was able to pick up the white writing on a blue background.
This hopefully means it should work with general signposts, posters, and everything else. You can also load in previous photos for translation.
The app will save all your previous results too, though the all requires WiFi or network reception to work.
It may lack the polish of Word Lens, its breadth of languages more than makes up for it, and it’s cheaper too. Word Lens seems to be dragging its feet producing more language packs, perhaps this will push it into action.