Saturday, January 11, 2014

Cool Free App Claims To Translate Chinese Menus

There is a free smartphone app that claims to translate Chinese characters on restaurant menus -- letting you understand the words even if you don't speak the language.

I haven't used the Waygo app.  Mena sent me a link to a Saveur article with a short description and link.  I'll give it a try, and I figure other folks might be interested -- after the fun a few years ago when a HowChow reader translated the Chinese menu at Hunan Manor.  After all, the idea might have stayed underground.

That's one of the fun and powerful parts of the new media.  You can get an idea from, say, a Web site or a blog.  Then -- even if you write up the story yourself -- you can link back or just give a "hat tip" if you saw the idea somewhere other than Facebook, their Web site or word of mouth.  Voices bolster each other.  It's fun, and I think it does help everyone.

Unless, of course, you work for a big media company.  Then, I guess there must be policies to make it seem the company discovered something on its own.  That's how it was 20 years ago when I worked in a newsroom.  I'm always amused by the big companies.  They are the most-valuable voices around because they do the original reporting, but I find it interesting that they -- and I'm sure it's management -- are so reticent to give even a nod to media that they don't control.  

Just teasing, you know.  I have noted the "old media"-"new media" differences before.  I'm glad real reporters work in Howard County, and I know that staff folks can't shake up the scene.  ;-)

(Update:  This may not actually be free.  iTunes suggests that it is free to download, but then $2 to use it for a week.  I'll wait to see more reviews before I pay for it.)

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