babelshot

Translating foreign languages with iPhone apps tends to be a time consuming chore because you have to manually input each and every character, and it’s especially tedious if you are dealing with more than a few words.  But developer Codium Labs intends to change all that with their new app Babelshot.

babelshot_screenBabelshot is able to automatically translate a variety of different languages without forcing you to type a single character by allowing you to simply snap a photo of the text in question.  The app is able to recognize and immediately translate the text into another language.  If the text is too small, or if your device is just not capable of getting a clear shot, you can always enter the text manually.

After the text has been translated, you can save it and the original image for later viewing.  You can also copy and paste your translated text into an outgoing email or SMS.  Since Babelshot requires an Internet connection to translate text, there is a feature that allows you to save your image for later translation if you just can’t acquire a connection at that very moment.

Babelshot supports tons of different languages, including: Afrikaans, Albanian, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, Galician, German, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Malay, Maltese, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Tagalog, Turkish.

And that’s just while using the camera function.  If you choose to manually input the text, it can translate all of the above languages along with Arabic, Belarusian, Bulgarian, Chinese, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Macedonian, Persian, Russian, Serbian, Thai, Ukrainian, Vietnamese.

An iPhone 3GS is highly recommended to use Babelshot, but it does support all of Apple’s mobile devices.  If you own a first- or second-generation iPhone, Codium Labs recommends using Clarifi by Griffin Technology, otherwise small text won’t be translatable via the camera.  You can also use Babelshot on an iPod touch, but you will only be able to manually input the text.

Babelshot is now available in the App Store for $1.99.