Free Hanzi Reader for your Smart Phone Camera

16gw-waygo-blog225Yesterday a friend showed me Waygo, an app that uses your camera to read hanzi off menus in restaurants, etc. (By the way, that feature is called an OCR = Optical Character Recognizer.) What impressed was that it’s free!

Here’s the catch: you get “10 daily translations” with an optional paid upgrade to “unlimited translations for life.”

Of course, I won’t be getting it because Pleco (my favorite cell phone dictionary) has a paid upgrade that includes an OCR (which I already bought and love). But I wanted to make sure to spread the word about the free one for those who might be content with only 10 translations per day.

By the way, does anyone else know of any other apps I should know about? Please let me know.

5 Replies to “Free Hanzi Reader for your Smart Phone Camera”

  1. Google Translate offers free, unlimited OCR in Chinese and other languages. It’s not perfect, but with Google’s machine learning projects it is getting better.

    • Anon,

      Ok good to know. Sadly, google stuff is blocked in China right now, and I’m assuming that includes Google Translate and their OCR. I forgot to mention that Waygo doesn’t need to be online to operate. That’s a big plus!

  2. You must not be in China.

    “This app is incompatible with all of your devices.”

    “No eligible devices for app install.”

    “This item cannot be installed in your device’s country.”

    Google’s OCR doesn’t work well, I’ve tried it and it is really picky about seeing the characters. Even then you only get Google’s questionable translations instead of the characters so you can make your own translations.

  3. Yes, Pleco does this very well and allows you to save the words for learning later. The “problem” with Pleco would be the fact that you need to press each character to get the translation (unless it’s a known multiple character word), but from a learning point of view this is probably better.

  4. Sorry to tell you but there is nothing to better than
    MDGB Chinese English Dictionary. Most futures are for free.
    I guess the only thing that you do not have is OCR.

    On the other hand, to learn any language you have to listen to songs.
    Nothing better than you will love it!!. Some songs are simple to follow (gives you pinyin and English translations by just pointing the cursor over the Chinese word). Start with The Moon Represents My Heart by Teresa Teng. 月亮代表我的心,演唱:邓丽君

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