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If you’re traveling to a foreign land, learning a language or have other translation needs, you may wish for a translator to follow you wherever you go. Worldictionary is an app that can help translate languages for you and help build your vocabulary.
Worldictionary is simple and intuitive to use, but also has loads of advanced features that make it useful beyond a typical translation app. The developer, who also developed the impressive WorldCard Mobile app, provided me with the iOS version to try.
Using the App
Press the bottom bar on the screen to choose from the source and target languages. Point your camera lens at the text you want to translate and the app instantly translates the word. Quick and easy.
You can use this for instant translations of signs, book titles, menus, items in a store, and other words you want to translate. The app has dictionaries for 21 languages in the iOS app and 15 languages in the Android app. You can easily flip the source and target languages by pressing the arrow button on the left of the bar.
Note that you must be connected to the Internet to use the app.
By taking a picture of text with your camera, you can translate sentences. If you need to translate more than one word, Worldictionary can do that easily.
From the home screen, tap the button and choose whether you want to use your camera or an image from a photo album. When you choose the image, a “Sentence” button will appear that lets you choose the text you want to translate.
This feature is also handy when you want to take a photo to translate the words at a later time.
You can press the T + Magnifying glass icon in the upper left corner of the home screen to do an advanced search. The Advanced Search screen shows you the last word you searched or you can type in a new word.
Choose a word and the app will take you to a new screen where you can see the definition. From that screen you can also look the word up in Google, find Wikipedia entries and YouTube videos. You can become an expert on the word from within the app!
In Advanced Search you can also hear how the word is pronounced by pressing the speaker button.
You can also share the translations with others using email or text messages by pressing the sharing button in Advanced Search.
You can save word translations as bookmarks so you can refer back to the translations later. This feature is especially helpful if you are studying a language or traveling and often encounter a word that you need to translate.
Worldictionary retains a history of the words you have translated so you don’t have to keep looking them up repeatedly. To access your history, press the button in the home screen. You can also add words that you’ve bookmarked into history to keep all of your important words in one place.
You can clear your history if you want to start from scratch.
See the Light
A killer feature of this app is the light feature. You can press the light button in the upper right corner of the home screen and the light from your camera will illuminate, allowing you to translate words, even in the dark. If you’ve ever been to a darkly lit restaurant where the menu is in a foreign language and accidentally selected a dish that you deeply regretted later, you will love this app.
If you ever need assistance with using the app, you can refer to the handy Help guide which is included in the app. Go to Settings (the cog wheel icon on the bottom right of the home screen) and choose Help. The app walks you through how to use all of its nifty features.
I first tested this app when we were hosting students from China in February. I used the app to translate a menu from a Chinese restaurant. The students were very excited to see how the app worked and delighted when they could see instant translations of the words on the menu.
The app wasn’t perfect, one menu item was translated as “Bad Chicken,” which the Chinese girls said wasn’t correct. After I ate the chicken I thought perhaps the app was even smarter than I thought!
I also tried Worldictionary on a Norwegian blog, Berget Marketing, and the app was very helpful in translating the Norwegian words I didn’t understand (which was most of them).
Worldictionary is currently on sale for $3.99, 50% off of the regular price at the iTunes App Store for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
If you’re traveling, learning a language or have other translation needs, take a look at Worldictionary. The app offers plenty of features that will make translating quick and easy for you.
Do you need to translate words to another language? Do you sometimes wish you had a translator with you? Let us know in the Comments section below!