Users Go Loco Over New Translation App

Hold up your phone, learn a new language.

By Scott Budman
|  Saturday, Dec 18, 2010  |  Updated 11:41 AM PDT
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A new <a title=iPhone App called Word Lens translates Spanish to English and English to Spanish." />

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A new iPhone App called Word Lens translates Spanish to English and English to Spanish.

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Bienvenido al futuro. Welcome to the future.

Indeed.

A new iPhone app, called 'Word Lens," is already starting to stir things up online.  It's an app that lets you translate words and phrases from Spanish to English, and English to Spanish, simply by holding up your phone to a piece of paper, or a sign, or an advertisement.

One of the app's early users described it simply to me: "It's elegant. You have to see it to believe it."  He's got a point. Give "Word Lens" a try and you, too, will likely sigh "increible," under your breath.

It's almost spooky how well (and how quickly) it works. It blends that omnipresent catchword of the smartphone set, "augmented" reality -- not to mention the kind of technology that used to only exist in science fiction shows.

The app is free, but it doesn't do much until you pay $4.99 for the translation part of it. For now, it's available in Spanish to English and English to Spanish, but I imagine we'll see much more in the future (as we have with Google's Translation service).  Only, instead of typing something into your search engine, you can get your translations from your mobile phone. For now, it's only available on the iPhone, but judging from several of the online comments, Android users are salivating over this as well.

Scott just threw out his English-Spanish dictionary. El esta en Twitter:  @scottbudman

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