Restaurant menu only in Czech? Don’t understand a public sign in Prague?
Or maybe you could use another tool to help you learn the language.
One of the most useful tools in Google Translate’s App for Android & iPhone has been the “instant translation” feature: point your phone’s camera at a piece of printed text (e.g., a street sign) and the app will instantly translate it into your chosen language onscreen.
It’s great for tourists with little knowledge of local languages, and also useful for those trying to learn a language by practically interacting with the environment.
Previously, the feature only supported seven languages.
Yesterday, however, it expanded to support 27 languages, including Czech.
Now, you can point your smartphone at a piece of printed Czech text and have it translated (almost) instantly.
To use the feature, download the Google Translate App to your smartphone. Open the App, choose “Czech” and “English” as your languages, and click on the camera button. You should be prompted to download an offline language pack for Czech.
Now, just point you camera at any piece of printed Czech text, and voila!
Note: the illustrative example in the picture above comes from one of the Czech Republic’s more ironic street signs.
Further instructions and more information about the App can be found at at Google’s blog.
A brief interview with Google Translate’s Product Manager Julie Cattiau was posted to TechCrunch yesterday.
And a cool technical explanation of how the App works can be found at Software Engineer Otavio Good’s blog.