As a frequent international traveler I depend on my iPhone at times to help with translations. I’ve reviewed a few here including ones that can translate in real-time. Worldictionary is one of those kinds of apps. It uses the camera on your iOS device as a live scanner to look at and translate words in real-time as you point at them. However, unlike other Apps I’ve tried, this one gives you the choice of live translations one word at a time or the ability recognize sentences/paragraphs in batch by taking a picture or using a picture on your Camera Roll. You can also choose between different translation engines and different languages (most at no additional cost). As with all translators someone that speaks the native language would be quick to point out that the translation may not be quite how they would say it. However, if I had a native translator standing next to me then I wouldn’t need the App :-)

There is a potential problem though with the Sentence mode and that is not only does it have to do translation, but it first has to do OCR (optical character recognition) this means that it has to be able to read all the characters and if you have a bad, dark picture, the translation will suffer as a result. Of course this is true for the Live translation too, but at least with the live translation you’re seeing it in real-time and therefore can adjust the angle or the postion of the camera to get better results. Another nice benefit is that this App can pronounce the word/sentence for you.

Great, but it could be better

The first area for potential improvement is by making this App native to the iPhone 5 screen. This is going to be an ongoing ding for any reviews of NEW or updated Apps I do from here on out. The most recent update (as of this review) had bug fixes for iOS 6, but not updated for the iPhone 5/4 inch display size. The other thing I’d like to see is a native iPad version. It would be great to see this on the bigger screen of an iPad. Lastly it would be nice to be able to translate a line at a time in addition to a word at a time.

If you travel or work with text in other languages, this App would make a nice addition to your arsenal.

iTunes