Some of the greatest/most frustrating moments you'll come across while traveling are when you're trying to get past the language barrier. It's always helpful to learn key words and phrases before you go, though if you're traveling to multiple countries, it's just not practical to become fluent in each and every language.
Signs, instructions, and menus are all important things to be able to read when you're traveling. You don't want to be stuck in a situation where you're unknowingly disobeying certain signs (let's not get arrested in a foreign country, please) or you order the completely wrong item on the menu.
Enter: World Lens, a cool (and free!) app that translates languages in real-time.
You hold the phone up to text and the camera shows a translated version in your desired language.
Languages: English <---> Spanish, French, German, Italian, Russian, Portuguese
Before I had an iPhone, I was using the Bing Translator app on my Windows Phone. That app worked well, especially when a friend and I were trying to figure out what to order on a menu written completely in Turkish while in Istanbul. Luckily the restaurant had wifi so we were able to use the app and figure out the menu without having to ask the server in attempted, choppy Turkish. There are some aspects of World Lens that I find better than Bing Translator, though.
What I like about World Lens compared to Bing Translator
-No need to be connected to a network: Anyone who travels internationally and doesn't buy SIM cards in every country knows the importance of being able to access an app like this without wifi.
-Pause feature: Once you get your words translated, you can pause the camera so you don't have to continue hovering in the same spot. You can take the phone away from the text without losing your translation.
-Speed: The Bing app is fast, but when comparing the two, World Lens is faster. The faster the speed, the quicker you understand what the words mean.
-Other features such as a translate dictionary and an off/on light switch. It's the little things like this that make things so much easier.
However, Bing Translator has more language options.
I couldn't use World Lens to translate Turkish, because as of now, that's not one of the language options. Hopefully they update the app with additional languages in the future, especially because Bing Translator isn't available for download on iOS.
Have you used this app? What are your thoughts? Please suggest any other helpful travel apps!
This is not a sponsored post. Just wanted to share this cool app with all of you!