My original blog was Hoses of the Holy (ca. 2003), which ended up being abandoned in the dark days of 2007. I started this one in 2011. Scroll down for the archives!

Word Lens logo
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Word Lens is a free download if you just want to see what it does in the demo version, but for a proper language pack you pay £6.99 for each direction you want to translate.

So I’d been waiting for them to do more than the original Spanish-English-Spanish option, and noted just before we went away to France for Festivus that they had a French-English dictionary available. £6.99 later, and I was chuckling away at its attempts to translate some of the French stuff we had lying around.

What is Word Lens for? Well, if you’re in front of a sign on a building or at the roadside or on the beach and have absolutely no clue as to what it says, holding up your iPhone to the sign with Word Lens activated, and you might get an inkling as to what’s going on.

I’ve got a book of recipes for Mini Madeleines, and it can kinda sorta help you work out the ingredients, if not the method. Look:

On the other hand, it’s hilariously bad. “3 spoonfuls to coffee of yeast clinic” is meant to be “3 teaspoons of baking powder”. “SALT CRAZY” on the other hand is what you might say of someone with a really bad diet and high blood pressure. I think they mean Sea Salt. And I think we can all agree what “2 cuillerées to silly of oil of olive virgin” means.

“20 GAG LETTERE MELTED” is meant to be “20g of melted butter”.

Here’s another recipe:

“1kg of apples tinge to flesh farm” and “20 this of cream greyhound bitch” are almost as good as my favourite so far which was “These penguins protect your breasts”. Unfortunately, I didn’t screenshot that one, because the other thing about Word Lens is that it doesn’t fix on just one translation, but more or less cycles through every word in the dictionary. You can freeze the translation at a certain point (which gives you the blue underlined words as above), but you might not catch the penguins protecting your breasts when you do.

All in all? For a sign with up to three words on it, it might be occasionally useful. But not £6.99 useful.

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