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Best gadget ever

I knew about Google Translate and have used it a few times, but there's a related feature that is a real game changer. It's called Google Lens. You point your cellphone camera at something in a different language and ... it translates it in real time right on the screen in front of you! I just thought this was quite amazing and quite useful.

We had to fill some prescriptions in Austria and only got a little guidance from the pharmacist. So voila, back in the hotel room we aimed our cameras at the packages and all was revealed! What the ingredients were, how often to take them, what they were supposed to accomplish. Astounding.

And then, we were at the market trying to buy some decaf coffee. Naturally assumed that the word would be similar to English so should be easy to spot. Nope. Found a likely bottle of Nescafe and pointed the camera and ... magic!

I'll save you the trouble, the word is entkoffeiniert. Never would have gotten that one. Also noticed that there were several other people at the market also translating product labels. I don't say this too often, but thank you Google!

Posted by
2267 posts

It's super cool, right?

Just wanted to add that while it works in 'real-time', you can also import images from your camera roll for it, so snap a pic and translate later, or you can take a screen shot of, say, a website in a foreign language and import that for translation.

Posted by
4675 posts

Could you pls put "Google Lens Translator" in your title? I'm bookmarking this, but still sometimes I can't find topics once all the Bookmarks stack up.
I really want to try this on our next trip.
Thanks so much for sharing! Safe travels!

Posted by
19092 posts

I guess if I wanted to say decaffeinated I wouldn't have expected that. Non-alcoholic beer is alkoholfrei bier so I might have come up with Koffeinfrei. But if I had seen entkoffeiniert I would have known what it meant.

Actually, I remember learning somewhere that "German" words that end in -iert are often co-opted from French. "Was ist passiert" in German comes from French, meaning what happened, but the true German version is "Was ist geschehen".

Posted by
2716 posts

Is this different than Google translate using the camera icon or Microsoft Translate app also using their camera icon? The Google app says Google Lens. Seems like they do the same thing. I downloaded and used those apps for a few years. They’re handy when you need them but sometimes they make mistakes.

Posted by
1184 posts

I take a lot of photos, sometimes 200-400 in a day. Each night, I try to organize and label them. With so many photos, I sometimes forget the name or place of the photo. Using Google Lens, I can do a search and get the info. I can do this on the fly when I take a photo of something interesting and I have no idea what I am looking at.

Posted by
17868 posts

I am an expat in a country that speaks a language derived from Martian. Without my phone camera and google translate I would have died of hunger long ago.

Posted by
4385 posts

Yes artie, and sometimes forum posts are gibberish as well

Posted by
22 posts

@horsewoofie Google Lens and Google Translate can basically do the same thing - translate text using your camera. But I've noticed sometimes they give slightly different results. Ultimately it just comes down to which one you find gives you more accurate translations, but personally I tend to use Google Lens more out of familiarity. 👍

Posted by
206 posts

I like using Google lens when traveling to identify birds and plants, also shells.

Thanks for the reminder, I have Google translate too, have used it to request decaf at the continental breakfast while on tour in Germany and Austria. Entkoffieniert is a hard word to remember….especially before I’ve had my morning coffee!