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Word Lens app translates printed text in real-time

Eating abroad can be embarrassing if you don’t speak the language: having to ask for the English-language menu, or worse, picking items at random to avoid letting on. However, a new iPhone app called Word Lens promises to solve this, and other travel-translation challenges.

How? It lets you point your phone at printed words, and see a translation in real-time on the screen. The app is free, but you pay for ‘language pairs’ – Spanish to English costs £2.99, and English to Spanish costs the same, with more languages presumably coming soon.

The app doesn’t require network access, so won’t cost you a fortune in roaming data charges. And if you find problems, you can type words in to get a translation too.

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