Waigo App Translates Chinese Menus


Do you trust the translations you see on Chinese menus? I don’t. Why? Because my local Chinese restaurant — which lists dishes in Chinese, English and Spanish — manages to write a different description for each one.

Luckily, Waigo is here to help, with it’s augmented-reality translation. Or is that “here to confuse”?

Waigo App Translates Chinese Menus

Point the iPhone’s camera at the menu and the app will read it and translate it instantly. The limited vocabulary (restaurant menu-ese) means it fits into an 8MB download, so you can even use it offline, letting you order a Big Mac in China without racking up the roaming fees.

It works great with the developer’s own testing page, but of course it does. So I decided to try it with a real menu. Or rather, a real menu photographed and uploaded to Instagram.

The photo is above (on the right). The Spanish translation means “chicken feet.” The more colorful English version is “Phoenix Talons” (side note — is it possible to burn these?). But the best version of all is Waigo’s authoritative “feet.” Simple, accurate, and to the point — if not exactly appetizing.

I recommend downloading the app, which is free, and keeping it for those times when you really, really don’t know what to order.

  • ulyssesric

    Well I’m Chinese, and the translations show up in these pictures are ridiculous. That’s it.

About the author

Charlie Sorrel Charlie Sorrel is the Reviews Editor here on Cult of Mac. Follow Charlie  on Twitter at @mistercharlie.

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