Holiday Travel Tip #12: Translate a Foreign Menu with Your Phone
This final holiday tip is a must-have for all travelers with an iPhone.
Picture this: It’s lunch time in Finland. Shall we sample the kaalikääryleet or the mykyrokka?
Unless you speak Finnish, you might point to one and let fate decide. But if you’re not a big fan of blood dumpling soup (mykyrokka), you may find yourself in a sticky situation (literally).
Finnish, while potentially difficult to learn, at least has letters that are recognizable to English-speakers. You can look them up in your guidebook. But try finding the right subway stop in Polish, reading a roadside warning in Greek, or choosing the correct bathroom in Russian if you’re unfamiliar with the languages.
That’s where your iPhone comes in, with the PicTranslator app. You point your iPhone at a word or group of words (like on a sign or a menu), take a photo, and PicTranslator translates the image for you.
Currently, it can translate between English and 16 different languages, with audio pronunciations for five of them.
You can find PicTranslator in Apple’s App Store, and you’ll need internet access for it to work. Try out the app with us during our 2013 photography expeditions in South Africa, Istanbul, and Beijing. (South Africa details are here. Istanbul and Beijing are coming soon.)
[Editor’s Note: Learn more about opportunities to profit from your travels (and even from your own home) in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.]