New App Lets Your Phone Become a Translation Tool

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Don’t you hate when you’re traversing the hills of Ouagadougou and you come across that sign that you just can’t read. Alas, if you had only known that it was warning you about the blood thirsty pigmy goats, life would be so different. Fear no more: Word Lens will translate anything for you, as long as you can fit it in your iPhone camera viewer. You don’t even need to take a picture or be connected to the Internet.

Using advanced translating technology (aka magic), the Word Lens app can read the word and give you an instant translation. Downsides? The app is free, but the translating capabilities will cost you. It can’t read handwriting or super stylized fonts. It’s not as accurate as it should be – but then again you are translating from a picture. So the good news is you’ll probably be able to figure out where the big sale is or why people won’t go swimming in the lake, but you’re not going to be able to translate Cien Años de Soledad so you can market your own English version of the novel.

More on TIME.com:

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