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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 Screenshot

iPhone Screenshot 1
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Customer Reviews

Pretty good, within expected limitations

I sell antiquarian books, and purchased this app specifically to translate the title of a 40's military text. What I found, I could have predicted if I had thought it through. The program works very well with printed characters, but has great difficulty with script. this should not surprise us, as the script oftimes resembles art (calligraphy) rather than the printed form. The interface is pretty amazing. You can scan with a live feed, or take a picture. If you take a picture (this all happens directly in the program), you can resize and reposition not only the text you photographed, but the window in which the program analyzes the text. I am guessing the folks who downrated the program were using earlier versions, or simply did not understand the complexities of the task. You must also remember that, with most characters having a range of meanings, the program can not necessarily produce a literal, logical translation. As a result, the program has not got the utility I had expected. That is my fault, as I had not used such a prgram before, and therefore was not cognizant of the limitations inherent in this type of programming. This is worth 5 stars simply for the pleasure of using such a well thought out app. I think that with more time, I can produce a decent translation of the printed text I need. Pretty cool, when you think about what I am asking Japan Goggles to accomplish.

Not perfect but a great time saver

This definitely beats counting strokes and looking up kanji by stroke count. Works best on a single kanji character or just a very few. It takes a few tries to get it right and is very sensitive. I suggest setting the refresh to one second and use the live camera and not the photo. Once you see the correct kanji pop up, press analyze. If you can write kanji that looks well written, it can also recognize it. I believe it is intended for printed text and not scripted cursive or handwriting that looks fancy like old English. The people that gave this a poor review obviously don't know the pain of not knowing what a single kanji in a string of text is like. This app is not intended to translate full strings of text or sentences but rather a single or few kanji characters for clarification. Perfect for people that are still studying Japanese like myself. Doesn't work as well on cameras before the iPhone 5 generation due to the lack of ability to focus on close objects with clarity.

Not good

I have posters with Japanese text to translate. I bought 3-4 photo translation iPhone programs for the job.

I took a photo of the text and used photoshop to isolate the radicals and improve their black and white contrast to help the OCR process. I put those enhanced photos in my iPhone.

In the end, a different program did the bulk of the work. I gave this program 1 star because it helped with only 1 single phrase out of dozens.

* The biggest issue is a very poor OCR. it just does not select correct radicals nor does it offer any correct alternatives.

* The text select box is difficult to align on text because the corner handles shrink/expand all 4 sides at once.

* You can not expand the text select box to the edge of the photo if the text is near the edge.

* The green rotate icon is in a bad place which causes aggravation.
Once you maticulously slide the photo, align the text box properly and get a bad OCR you try, try again.
- IF - you get 1 or 2 radicals to properly OCR your finger might touch the green rotate button and......


I don't believe the source text (Radicals) are the problem because a different program did a much better OCR job.

I would save your $ and look elsewhere.

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

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

Customer Ratings

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