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Apr 12, 2001
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Google Translate recently updated its iOS and Android applications, bringing Japanese-to-English and English-to-Japanese translation support to its augmented reality "Word Lens" feature. Thanks to the added support, English-speaking users can point their smartphone camera at Japanese text and instantly get an English translation on screen. The same can be done for Japanese tourists visiting predominantly English-speaking countries.

google-translate-1-800x469.jpg

Before the update, Google mentioned that users could snap a picture of Japanese text and get an English translation, but thanks to the AR in Word Lens, "it's a whole lot more convenient" to figure out where you are in a foreign city with the live translation feature. Notably, users don't have to worry about having an Internet or data connection when using Word Lens during travel, as the translation software works offline.
The Google Translate app already lets you snap a photo of Japanese text and get a translation for it in English. But it's a whole lot more convenient if you can just point your camera and instantly translate text on the go. With Word Lens, you just need to fire up the Translate app, point your camera at the Japanese text, and the English translations will appear overlaid on your screen--even if you don't have an Internet or data connection. It's every savvy traveller's dream!
Back in November Google announced an update to Google Translate that made longer articles and paragraphs "a lot smoother and easier to read." Using new AI learning software called Neural Machine Translation, Google Translate can now learn over time "to create better, more natural translations."


Google Translate is available to download for free from the App Store [Direct Link].

Article Link: Google Translate Updates Mobile App With Live 'Word Lens' Japanese Translations
 

RowellE

macrumors 6502
Mar 5, 2012
379
683
How unfortunate that a horrendous song and music video is promoting this app.

This amazing app needs better promo than that.

**cringes**shudders**
 

Sefstah

macrumors 6502a
Dec 21, 2015
589
1,066
Google, a truly innovative company that helps bring the world closer together. This app is also free by the way. Meanwhile, apple is on the penny squeezing dongle plan.
 

nutmac

macrumors 603
Mar 30, 2004
5,189
4,527
Microsoft Translator app, which is also free, can image translate Japanese and many other languages also (and also offline capability). And I frankly much prefer its interface over "material" interface that Google is shoving to iOS users.

So if the languages you want is on both, you should try both and see which you prefer.
 
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Wackery

macrumors 65816
Feb 1, 2015
1,091
1,138
Google, a truly innovative company that helps bring the world closer together. This app is also free by the way. Meanwhile, apple is on the penny squeezing dongle plan.
meanwhile at apple
 

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BuffaloTF

macrumors 65816
Jun 10, 2008
1,239
1,325
Google, a truly innovative company that helps bring the world closer together. This app is also free by the way. Meanwhile, apple is on the penny squeezing dongle plan.

Free? So is the far superior Microsoft Translator... but who's counting?
 
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2457282

Suspended
Dec 6, 2012
3,327
3,014
How unfortunate that a horrendous song and music video is promoting this app.

This amazing app needs better promo than that.

**cringes**shudders**
The App looks so good that I actually will allow it as the first google app on my iphone. Totally agree that the video is terrible, but be careful. It seems that statement may be considered off topic and get us censored.
 

reden

macrumors 6502a
Aug 30, 2006
657
612
Given how bad is Google translate with Japanese, I can't help but to laugh at disasters awaiting to happen.

I was just in Japan a couple weeks ago, and it was really bad with Japanese. I ended up just asking Japanese people, and somehow managed to communicate with them.
 

GhostRaider

macrumors 6502
Jun 2, 2014
339
292
You have to admit the idea is good. It needs more work. Apple on the other hand doesn't focus on these types of features and only care about iPhone and money.
 

ginkobiloba

macrumors 6502a
Jul 2, 2007
567
1,525
Paris
Microsoft Translator app, which is also free, can image translate Japanese and many other languages also (and also offline capability). And I frankly much prefer its interface over "material" interface that Google is shoving to iOS users.

So if the languages you want is on both, you should try both and see which you prefer.
I've just installed both, and tried some japanese-->english image translate from apple.com/jp , and the Microsoft app was a disaster, spouting complete nonsense. Google's app was pretty decent on the other hand.

This stuff feels pretty magical though..., even if it's just useful for translating a couple of words. Real translation is still very far off. Every english-->french live audio translation I've tried with these apps comes up completely hilarious , real comedy material....
 
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SeaFox

macrumors 68030
Jul 22, 2003
2,579
875
Somewhere Else
I can see this helping the tattoo industry - seriously. People still like getting those types of tattoos and you have to wonder if it means "strength" or chicken soup. ;)

I'm sorry, given the quality of most Asian-language translations I get with Google, you do NOT want to use it as an information source for a semi-permanent skin modification.
 

Wackery

macrumors 65816
Feb 1, 2015
1,091
1,138
what's the character limit for text in this app? or is it basically only for signs and small words
 

allenvanhellen

macrumors 6502
Dec 8, 2015
312
769
If you care about studying the language, I'd recommend using Imiwa instead, and using the Chinese handwriting keyboard to write the kanji yourself. Then you'll actually learn something.
 

timborama

macrumors 6502a
Oct 12, 2011
613
1,232
Microsoft Translator app, which is also free, can image translate Japanese and many other languages also (and also offline capability). And I frankly much prefer its interface over "material" interface that Google is shoving to iOS users.

So if the languages you want is on both, you should try both and see which you prefer.
MS translator works very well for inline web translations, but for images/photos it's pretty pathetic (at least for Japanese in my experience). The Google photo (and now Live Lens) works very well.
 

Googlyhead

macrumors 6502
Apr 19, 2010
467
253
The original word lens was pretty good until Google bought it.
I understand the attempt to push people into using their own translate app, but it's far more cumbersome and less intuitive than the original standalone.
 

Sefstah

macrumors 6502a
Dec 21, 2015
589
1,066
Free? So is the far superior Microsoft Translator... but who's counting?
Superior how? Not in the app store or google play. Maybe on a windows phone if anyone even uses that anymore. The point is, Its clear every other company is innovating while apple is focused on thinness and adapters.
 

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
51,388
19,448
Superior how? Not in the app store or google play. Maybe on a windows phone if anyone even uses that anymore. The point is, Its clear every other company is innovating while apple is focused on thinness and adapters.
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/microsoft-translator/id1018949559

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.microsoft.translator

(In fact, the link to the iOS app is at the beginning of a post that originally mentioned earlier in the thread, but, even as you essentially mentioned, it seems like the point isn't really about any of that and basically just to make some unrelated digs at Apple supposedly somehow just because some companies have translator apps.)
 
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Septembersrain

Contributor
Dec 14, 2013
4,217
5,263
Texas
Can't really blame them since Japanese is indeed very complicated.

I was part of a pen pal program and they've got their own slang, same word with different meanings, etc. It's probably just as confusing as English. Though the writing part is probably where the struggle really is.
 
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