Google Translate's 'Word Lens' camera translation feature now supports Japanese text.
(CCM) — Google has made life easier for visitors to Japan with the announcement in a blog post that the "Word Lens" feature in its Translate app now supports Japanese. "Word Lens" allow a user to hold their smartphone camera over Japanese text, such as a menu, supermarket product, or street sign, to see the English translation displayed in place of the original hiragana or katakana characters. The feature has been introduced on the iOS and Android versions of Google Translate and works without the need for a data or WiFi connection, meaning that it can be used anywhere without incurring data roaming fees. "With Word Lens now available in Japanese, you’ll never have to worry about taking a wrong turn on a busy Shibuya street or ordering something you wouldn't normally eat," said Masakazu Seno, a Google Translate software engineer, in the blog post. The feature also works in reverse for Japanese visitors to the U.S.
Google Translate already has the capability to translate Japanese text from a captured photo into English; it can also listen for either Japanese or English spoken words through a device's microphone and "speak" a translation through its speaker. In February 2016, Google announced that Translate could translate between more than 100 languages with the addition of 13 new languages, including Hawaiian, Kurdish, and Samoan.
Image: © Google.