The app, Bing Translator, enables users to get automatic translations of text by pointing the phone’s camera at the intended text. Bing Translator is a free translation service for text and voice and currently translates over 32 languages including Arabic, English, Spanish, French, Japanese, German and Chinese among others.
Nokia’s Head of Product Marketing for East Africa, King’ori Gitahi, said the app will enable users to overcome language barriers, especially when travelling to a foreign country.
“When you’re looking at a menu, or a sign at a train station or airport in a foreign country, trying to interpret the unusual letters and words can often lead to stress and confusion. Using the camera option in this app will turn your camera’s viewfinder into a translation tool. It scans the text placed in front of it and swaps the words for ones that you’re more familiar with,” Gitahi said.
“Gone are the days of staring blankly at the menu in a foreign restaurant and relying on the pictures for reassurance. Bing Translator app is your very own personal assistant when it comes to understanding what’s being said, or what’s on the menu,” he added.
With the camera mode, just point your camera towards what you want to translate, and see the translation instantly! No need to take a photo of that sign on the wall and wait – instant, real-time augmented reality translation at your fingertips.
The app works both in an online and offline mode. In order for the translations to happen, users would require an internet connection but at the same time, Bing Translator has the ability to download language packs for a number of countries, so users are advised to download these before they leave their native country.
The app also has voice functionality as it’s able to translate spoken word, but this is subject to internet connection. If you need to ask somebody where the nearest public toilet is, for example, just say it into the phone and you’ll be presented with a written version along with a speaker icon. When pressed, this will read out your translated phrase in the language you’ve selected. Bing Translator is free and is available now on the Windows Phone store.