New Camera App Translates Chinese Menus

If you like to go to Chinese restaurants but can't read a lick of Chinese, you'll probably appreciate a new Chinese character translating app called WayGo, which was designed with deciphering food phrases in mind. Using the free download, you point your iPhone's camera at a block of Chinese text, like on a menu, and the program gives an instant translation of the dish. You don't even have to have an internet connection; the databse is self-contained.

I tested this new app over the weekend on several menus and it does work, albeit the program does have a few limitations at this point. It doesn't read vertically, nor will it read calligraphy or highly-stylized script. WayGo also seems to have problems when English letters infringe upon the characters you're trying to translate in the app's view box. Focusing on small print can also be a challenge.

The commercial they've put up on YouTube (see below) is rather silly, amateurish even, but you can't deny that the app can be a useful tool when you find yourself at an establishment that offers no English translations, especially when you're not a polyglot genius like our Dave Lieberman.

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