I live in Germany, and even though my German is fine, I often get beaten by notices and signs. In my native England, signs and notices are snappy. They use few words, and often annoying slogans, to get the point across. In Germany, an A4 (legal-size) sheet of paper with densely spaced type is the norm. And that’s just from neighbors complaining about people leaving their strollers on the wrong side of the entrance hall.
So, I decided to do something about it. I wrote a Siri Shortcut that scans one of these German essays using the iPhone’s camera, translates it, and shows it to you. There are apps that can do something similar, but my shortcut is way better, for several reasons.
From Star Trek to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, one of the signs of the future is a portable device that instantly translates languages. Well, it’s 2019, so we should expect things to feel properly futuristic.
Right on cue, we’ve now got access to an ultra-light, sleek, portable translator. And unlike the Babel fish, you don’t even need to stick it in your ear.
How do you translate a PDF? Maybe you scanned a page from a friend’s German cake recipes book. Or perhaps you’re living abroad and you have no idea what the police just made you sign. There are plenty of ways to translate PDFs and text, but most of them involve either A) Microsoft Word or B) uploading your private documents to a cloud service to be read.
Today we’ll see how to quickly scan a paper document, then translate its written text into English. You’ll be amazed at how fast it is.
Do you ever find yourself staring at a web page, unable to understand a word? All the letters look familiar, only they’re arranged into some weird order? That’s called “foreign,” and it’s how people from outside America talk to each other. Some of them don’t even write their websites in English.
Fortunately, a good old American company has done something about this terrible habit. Microsoft Translator can fix up a web page and turn all that foreign gibberish into a language we can all feel comfortable with. You may already use Google’s translate bookmarklet for this, but Microsoft’s version is so much better it’s in a different league.
Siri translation seems like the most obvious thing in the world. You probably already asked him/her the meaning of a foreign word, or how to say an English phrase in another language. Under iOS 11, though, this will actually work.
All you have to do is to ask Siri how to say something, and s/he will respond with an answer. Even better, you can use Type to Siri to make the query, which may come in handy when you’re in a line at the market and you don’t want to start talking into your iPhone.
Instagram is going to make it easier to understand posts in foreign languages. In the coming months, the service will rollout a new translate button that will help you understand the full story, no matter which language it was posted in.
The new Google Translate is ready for the iPhone and iPad, and it’s a fantastic update. While other apps are better at giving you context and points of grammar, Google’s app is hard to beat for fast translations of single words or phrases.
And now it adds a third way to input words: handwriting.
TweetDeck for Mac just got a pretty nice update via the Mac App Store that introduces a new user interface and a number of new features. Users will find it’s now easier to navigate their way around the app thanks to a new sidebar, while the built-in translation makes it easier to communicate with foreign friends.