Today I want to share with you a workflow I’ve been using a lot recently: translating menus that are written entirely in a foreign language.

If you’re in China, Korea, or Japan, Waygo is the app you’re looking for. Download it, pay for the in-app purchase (its simply that good for Chinese, in particular) and you’re set. You can translate the menu in real time by pointing your iPhone or Android camera at it, otherwise you take a photo and translate the characters.

For other countries, I’ve been using Google Translate.

The process is really simple.

  1. Snap a photo of the menu.
  2. Edit the photo if necessary (for example, to change the orientation of the image).
  3. Open Google translate, and tap on the camera Icon.
  4. Select your language pairs.
  5. Tap on the image icon to select an image from your camera roll.
  6. Navigate to the photo of the menu you want to translate
  7. Highlight the text you want to translate using your finger.

Pro-tips: You can pinch or expand your fingers on the photo to zoom in on text. Also, I tend to translate headings of menus first, because there might be a whole