Learning a language apparently gets easier once you’ve learnt a few, or so someone in Mensa once told us. But that doesn’t mean learning those first few, or even one, is going to be easy. It’s something many of us would love to be able to do but learning a foreign language takes time, effort and practice.
We’d still urge you to give learning a language a go, but until then there are a few augmented reality apps that can translate on the fly. They are also some of coolest applications to show anyone who’s yet to see what a smartphone can do as it almost looks like magic.
Here are some of the best we’ve found on the Windows Phone Marketplace.
It’s not an app but it’s easy to forget Bing Vision is built into your Windows Phone. Just hit the search button found on every Windows Phone and you can then press the eye button, titled Vision.
Besides being able to scan QR codes and barcodes, Bing Vision can scan text. Once you’ve scanned the menu or article, you can then hit translate and select the language from a lengthy list such as Czech or Dutch.
We can’t vouch for the accuracy of its translation abilities but Bing Vision has great potential once the technology catches up with augmented reality.
This app doesn’t beat around the bush but Translator certainly lives up to its name. Like with Bing Vision, Translator can be pointed at whatever text you like, so long as it’s relatively clear, and it will try its best to convert it to another language.
Translator can also translate languages via a keyboard and voice, making it a little more comprehensive than Bing Vision. It also has a lot of languages to choose from, which makes it the perfect tool when going abroad – so long as you don’t expect word-for-word perfection.
This particular translation app is more text-based than the above but it’s incredibly easy to use. There are two text boxes to add what you want to translate and language selections beside each so you know languages the text is and will be.
A button at the bottom reads out the translated result, which can prove useful for trying to order a meal without making yourself look stupid. Assuming you can cut out the unnecessary expressive hand movements, that is.
VoiceTranslator is all about translating languages using voice. This means you can ask someone to speak directly into it or you can see if it knows English words, even if you can’t spell them.
The presentation isn’t so good as the previous alternatives but it’s easy to use and is filled with neat features, such as a flag for each country. English does have an American flag but we can forgive.
VoiceTranslator also has a button to swap between the from and to translated result, so you can quickly tranlate words or phrases both ways.
Based on our quick test, the app proved relatively accurate but regional languages may be more difficult to work with.
Translator++ is quite similar to iTranslator but it’s just as well featured so we thought to give it a mention.
Text is entered at the top, and where possible, the app tries to workout the language you are entering, saving you from having to select it from the list.
In case you are wondering, Translator++ is designed to replace Translator+, which is why they look a little different. As far as functionality goes, you’ll have to pay 79p for the full shebang but the trial version includes Bing translation so it’s still useful.
Source: Know Your Mobile