The new, more powerful Google Translate app integrates a couple of very cool technologies. The first is WordLens, an iOS app which would (in real time) show you a translation of a live feed from the camera (ie: you pointed the app at a page and it would show you a translation as you moved your phone over the page, or pointed it at different street signs, etc. The second is (almost) real time audio translation, letting you hold the phone between you and a foreign speaker, and it will listen and translate whichever language is being spoken and display and speak the translation.
The Translate app already lets you use camera mode to snap a photo of text and get a translation for it in 36 languages. Now, we’re taking it to the next level and letting you instantly translate text using your camera—so it’s way easier to navigate street signs in the Italian countryside or decide what to order off a Barcelona menu. While using the Translate app, just point your camera at a sign or text and you’ll see the translated text overlaid on your screen—even if you don’t have an Internet or data connection.
I just showed this to a Spanish speaker in my office and he was amazed and it allowed us to have a (short) conversation in our native languages.