New App Translates Text From Images

Having a iPhone with you when you travel just got a whole lot more helpful. According to travel tech website tnooz.com, a global web translation provider called Transperfect has developed an app for Apple called TransPerfect TransImage which gives you the ability to translate text from an image into one of 50 different languages. Useful? Only in every way you can possibly imagine.

TransPerfect claims that with a simple photo, the app can translate text such as it appears on menus or street signs into a language you feel far more comfortable with. I don’t need to say how handy this could be in places like China, Japan or Thailand where the common Roman alphabet isn’t used. (Although they’re saying that for more complicated fonts and cultural references you’ll have to pay to connect with a “human translator”, my guess, an actual person that will look at the picture and tell you what it means over the phone.) Either way it’s a great start to breaking down those communication barriers that were once insurmountable, especially when all you want to know is what you’re ordering.

The launch of this application comes only a few months after Google unveiled the most recent edition of its Google Goggles app. A leap forward after their first version was able to identify landmarks from a picture and give relevant information. I’ve tried Google Goggles with limited success. We’ll see how Transperfect fares with their attempt.

Find TransImage for free at the iTunes store. No word when the Android version of Transperfect’s app will be available, but look for it soon.