Bonnes Nouvelle! Word Lens Parle Français

Remember Word Lens? That crazy, awesome mobile application that translated words inside of images, like road signs, posters, menus, and the like, from Spanish to English (and vice versa)? Well, now the app has added a third language to its repertoire: French. With the most recent app update, Word Lens can translate from English to French and back again, but not between French and Spanish.

A year ago, Word Lens was all the rage, after its long-awaited release – the result of two and half years’ worth of work from founders Otavio Good and John DeWeese. The app blew our collective minds. The thing was magic. Using OCR technology to “see” the words in front of the smartphone’s camera, Word Lens takes advantage of augmented reality to superimpose the translated words on top of the foreign text. All background images that aren’t text are removed, too. (See, augmented reality isn’t totally useless!). And even better, the app works offline thanks to its downloadable dictionaries.

The app itself is free, but each dictionary costs $4.99 correction: each dictionary is $9.99. (French-English and Spanish-English). Translations in Word Lens aren’t perfect, but then, few digital translators ever are. But it’s usually good enough to get the point across…and maybe save you from ordering the wrong item on the menu or finding your way around town.

You can grab the updated Word Lens from iTunes here.