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Japan Goggles

By LucSens Oy

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Translate Japanese words to English from live camera, still photo or album with this revolutionary app. No internet connection required. Supports both horizontal and vertical text.

* As featured on Japan Times: "Living in Japan: There's an app for that"

No need to have any knowledge of Japanese to use it.

Can analyze several words at a time.

It recognizes over 3000 (most frequent 95%) Japanese characters. Dictionary contains around 200000 common word entries and 700000 Japanese Proper Names.

Can be used as input method or to make flash cards.


* As of December 1, 2011 the Google Translate option will no longer give translations. This is due to a decision by Goggle to completely shut off the free translation service to all third party applications on that date.

* If the live camera mode is hard to use, the refresh rate can be set to "none". Tapping on screen gives instant translation.

* On devices without a camera it can only look up album photos.

* This app is over 30 MB in size. iTunes or Wifi download is recommended.

* Works best with clear images and good contrast, black text on white background and regular printed characters.


This package contains data from the EDICT and ENAMDICT dictionary files which are the property of the Electronic Dictionary Research and Development Group (, and are used in conformance with the Group's license.

What's New in Version 2.6

Fixed Live Camera crash bug on iPhone 3GS.
No need to update for other devices.

iPhone Screenshots

iPhone Screenshot 1
iPhone Screenshot 2
iPhone Screenshot 3
iPhone Screenshot 4

Customer Reviews

Very hit-and-miss. Needs a much cleverer graphics interpretation system

Note: I'm using this with the iPhone 4S, so the camera is very good, and produces a very clear image. Issues are clearly related to the app, not the phone/camera.

This app produces very inconsistent results. If the kanjis are very clear, with plenty of empty space around, then the app identifies them correctly, most of the time.

The main problems arise when trying to identify kanji that's not perfectly "standalone". For example:
  日本  will be identified correctly, but   「日本」  will not, because the app STUPIDLY seems to count the bracket as part of the kanji, thus giving wrong results. The framing system goes some way towards helping with this, but it's far too fiddly to be useful. Similarly, frames or lines around or near the kanji will all be counted as strokes and confuse the OCR engine...

There's potential, but it needs quite a lot of work.

Features to be added should include:
-An option to inform the app when the kanjis are in italics.
-Some form of AI that would strip the parts of the image which are obviously not part of the character(s) to be processed (brackets, underlines, frames, etc, SHOULD NOT be included in the OCR!!!)

Not bad if you treat it right

Worked fine with plain back text on a white background. I used it with handouts from meetings and it worked fine. You have to help it out with a decent focus. I found 4-5 inches was about right from the page. It even coped with larger white text on a red background off the back of a Wii game I have, although the smaller half cm text it couldn't pick up. If you are using this to help with handouts at work then great, although I doubt it would cope with signs unless the font was pretty standard and clear, which most signs aren't. Nice implementation. Now, if you can do real time substitution like Word Lens I'd be really impressed. :)

Really nice app!

Ignore other reviews saying this is rubbish. This is the first time I've ever written an app review on the iStore - I was so impressed with it. It is not an easy thing to do - reading and translating text as complicated as Japanese in real time using a mobile device. For the price (£2.99 in the UK at the time of writing) it does a good job. You have to hold it steady and in good light, though. (Best to follow the advice on the developers' web page).

Japan Goggles
View in iTunes
  • Free
  • Category: Education
  • Updated:
  • Version: 2.6
  • Size: 34.2 MB
  • Language: English
  • Developer:

Compatibility: Requires iOS 4.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

Customer Ratings

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