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Gaijin rejoice: AR app translates Japanese menus to English

Augmented reality is now helping you avoid culinary disasters abroad.

NTT Docomo

Going to a new country is fun, but trying to make sense of foreign menus isn't so great. Fret not, gaijin in Japan: Carrier NTT Docomo wants to help all of those visiting The Land of the Rising Sun.

The company's Food Menu Translation AR app, though not conveniently named, uses your phone's camera to scan menus and conveniently translates written Japanese to English, reports the Asahi Shimbun.

It's like Pokemon Go, but instead of catching Pokemon it's saving you from culinary disaster. Many restaurants in Japan have translated menus or photos to help make sense of things, but more traditional ones rely heavily on kanji and nothing else

Not only does the app bring up a translation of Japanese food items in English, the it also covers Chinese and Korean. And it works in reverse for citizens of Asian countries who venture to English-speaking places. NTT Docomo claims it'll also give information on the ingredients and history of a given dish.

The app will become freely available to download in June, though only an Android version has been announced.