Translation has moved on quite some way from the old fashioned paper dictionary. Blessed be the internet! Google Translate can still give some iffy translations, especially when the passages are a creatively written, but it’s improving all the time. But those paper dictionaries and phrase books still come in useful when you’re out and about, pounding the streets and out of range of a PC or WiFi connection. They are cumbersome, slow to produce results and are limited to one alternative language to your own, but there’s no other practical solution.
Or there wasn’t, until now. The video below describes a new iPhone app that translates what it sees in real time. Pure genius. So ingenious indeed, that were today April 1st, I think I’d have assumed it’s a joke. But apparently it’s the real deal. Of course, it only translates what it sees. But how long before iPhones translate what they hear, and Star Trek movies are transferred from the science fiction shelf to the non-fiction shelf? And that, of course, will spell the end of the TEFL teacher!
Of course, this is no substitute for learning a language, and if you happen to be coming to Mexico City and wanting to pick up some Spanish, then this blog post by the Go Mexico Guide has all the info you need to get yourself enrolled in a class.