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While Word Lens does remain one of our favorite pieces of software, there's no denying the company's product has a serious feature gap: support for Chinese and Japanese characters. Enter Waygo.

Waygo is basically World Lens for Chinese and Japanese (no Korean yet, unfortunately), and the free app allows you up to 10 translations per day at no charge. If you want the full version, the upgrade will cost you $7 for a lifetime license. There's also a $2 1-week "tourist" license, though I didn't see that option when I was using the app.

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Waygo stores all of its translations locally, so no internet connection is needed in order to use the app. Waygo does caution that it probably won't recognized stylized CJK characters or calligraphy, so no, you won't be able to tell if your $10 print from that guy at the market who "translated" your name to Chinese actually says "fish head" instead of "Steve." You will, however, be able to order at your local Chinese and Japanese restaurants without having to ask the waitress what every other item on the menu is. Hopefully. Also, Waygo would like you to avoid killing chickens, too (see video).

The app is highly regarded on iOS, so the Android launch has doubtless been awaited by users for some time, especially with a relative dearth of alternative options currently on the market.

Head over to the Play Store to try it out now.

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • Paul_Werner

    Not sure I'd want to consume any "Chicken Feet Jelly"

    • Thatguyfromvienna

      Stick to your fries and burgers then.

      • Paul_Werner

        Just didn't sound appetizing to me by that name. Doesn't automatically mean I consume only fries and burgers. I actually haven't had either of those in a long time now

  • Al McDowall

    Tried it. Quite disappointed. There's a reason it is advertised as translating menus and signs - it really can't deal with a proper block of characters or even newspaper headlines (it DID translate the headline, but it was WAY off)

    So while it might be fine for helping you to find your way around and order food, it has little to no use beyond that. Finding your way around (in China at least) is not so hard since every street sign has the Pin Yin translation of the Chinese characters. For food, you'd be better off taking a native Chinese speaker out to dinner and asking for their recommendations.

    • Thor Sigurdsson

      You may be better off using Hanping Camera - or not, depending on if you can make out the context yourself.

      Or just order the 狗肉炒饭 >;)

      • Faut


        • Thor Sigurdsson

          Oh really? If you used my "recommendation" to order something, then you are a gullible person :)

  • Huzefa Shakir

    That commercial is... something.

  • Jeppe Rishede Thomsen

    Can't make it translate any Chinese at all, it does nothing! For Japanese it tries, but fails completely

  • primalxconvoy

    I don't think it translates hiragana or katakana; only kanji. It couldn't translate my tissue packet (Japanese), so I don't think it's rely ready for mainstream use.