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New iPhone Apps Translate Text in Photos -- and Live Speech

If you aren't well-versed in a native language, traveling to another country can be intimidating. But two new iPhone applications seek to remedy that anxiety by translating foreign languages on the fly. More interesting, the apps use two different methods -- audio or images.

PicTranslator, which supports more than 10 languages, can translate text that appears in a picture you've taken with the iPhone's camera. If you're at a fancy French restaurant and don't want to seem uninformed about the cuisine, just snap a pic of the menu, crop the image so it only includes the words you want, and the app gives you a translation (video after the break). According to Lifehacker, the app, which costs $1 for each language you want included, even includes audio that helps with pronunciation.

The second app works slightly differently; Jibbigo only translates English to Spanish, and vice-versa. According to Macworld, the app has a dictionary of more than 40,000 words, which might explain the $25 price tag. In contrast to PicTranslator, the user speaks into the iPhone's microphone, and then the app translates to Spanish or English. If you have an iPhone 3GS, the app can translate both languages simultaneously, which means you could carry on a conversation with your foreign buddy without speaking a word of Spanish.

Both are interesting and useful tools that will help put travelers at ease. But for our money, we'll take PicTranslator. It's not only cheaper, but more versatile, too. With the way the U.S. dollar has been performing overseas, we'll need to save all the money we can. [From: Life Hacker and Macworld]

Tags: apple, application, audio, images, iphone, language, top, translation, travel