Word Lens App
Price:£0.00 (in app purchases req.)
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When I first started learning German at school back in 1992, my brain was already thinking that there must be a market for a tool that would help me. The German dictionary and phrase books just didn’t really help me and the first lesson with Ms Bird consisted of the whole 1 hour and 10 minutes of her speaking non-stop German.
I was given an electronic translator which I thought was really good at first, but then I really couldn’t understand why I could only do one word at a time. Because of this my “cheating” in the German lesson became hard and my sentences senseless.
Now technology has done it again! Augmented and instant translation, by holding the iPhone up over text and it displaying the words.
But is it any good and worth the money for the extra packs?
So Word Lens has been out for over a year now and when it first came out had limited optional extras. The App comes with a couple of demo packs to show you how it all works.
First off, start the app and the camera powers up. It will tell you which way around the text needs to be so simply select the pack (comes with reverse words and erase words), it will then replace the text with whatever it needs to.
The clever bit is where you buy the language packs, in my case I bought Spanish to English, This cost me £2.99 and works both ways around. But you can also get French, Italian and German at the time of writing this.
When I reviewed this App I was luckily in Alicante and stuck at a food festival, I did Spanish for 2 years and learnt very little. This app was my lifesaver. Holding the camera in front of the menu, I hit the pause button on the screen. This takes a shot of the current view and with the overlaying of the words.
Although this wasn’t perfect I could work out the important words and ordered some amazing food. The app is very quick but a steady hand is needed and/or the pause button.
The app also includes a nice little look-up section for checking out individual words and more language packs are on there way from the developers.
The app still needs a little more work and more languages is needed. Spanish is the best of the language packs and has been available since day one, whereas the other packs have not long been released and many people on the forums are reporting that it isn’t as effective.
It still is a really cool app to show off to your friends and a pretty good tool for taking abroad. Won’t beat learning a few words when you go abroad but handy to have.
[alert]What Would Go Well With It…[/alert]
Ironically a nice phrase app like the lastminute.com versions on the App store! These app’s even include a few chat up lines to help you with your European traveling, not tested these out yet!
I have heard on the grapevine that there has been an application released that will translate the spoken word and read it back in the desired language, if this is true I want to know about it. Please do send me a message to let me know.