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Monday, January 18, 2016
Review - Le Menu Dit translate menus from English to French without an Internet connection
Review - Le Menu Dit translate menus from English to French without an Internet connection

This week we’re reviewing an application which can help you ordering the best dishes for French speaking iOS travellers. It’s called ‘Le Menu Dit translate menus from English to French without an Internet connection’ by Creekcats LLC.

It translates printed menus from English to French, via your iPhone or iPad camera. We’ve tested it, bought the one week license (1 Euro), and here we’re sharing our experience.

Booking.com

Audience

Did you know that most send-backs in restaurants are from people that can’t read the menus? and what do you do when it happens to you? Just eat it or try to get another dish by apologizing to the waiter with a blush on your cheeks. Now that there’s an iOS application for this you can avoid situations like this.

My experience

In the place where I live and go about, the menus are in two languages—including French—and sometimes including English too. That makes it a good place to test this app out because you can compare the translated results.

When I found a free table, I took the menu and fired-up ‘Le Menu Dit’, which opens the camera and shows a white line which you’ll have to align with the text. First I selected the full page, but that generates so much output that in my second scan I only selected a sub section.


It’s magical how quickly it translates and what it can translate, sometimes word by word and sometimes very good for a computer translation, for instance like this;

“Prawns cooked with baby raw mango, ginger, spices and finished with coconut milk”

was translated into;

“Crevettes cuit avec jeune cru manque, gingembre, épices et fini avec lait de coco.

Good hé!

More perfect would be but all the info you need is there to know what the dish is about.

“Crevettes cuites avec manque jeune ( or bébé ) cru, gingembre, épices et fini avec du lait de coco.


The tip I can give you is to translate in small sections of the menu because it outputs the original text, what its OCR engine has detected as text (in green) and the translation. So that makes three lines for every line of text.

From the six menus I tried, I had reasonable good to very good results. One menu had a font with short ascenders that OCR-ed ‘potato’ into poioio’ because it can’t distinguish between and a and o. When you have results like this it can help if you zoom in to a smaller section of text. Don’t forget to read the help page!

Conclusion

‘Le Menu Dit’ does what it advertises as best as it can. What it can’t do, is also published on iTunes which is fair. It can save you, not only from send-backs, but for me most importantly that you can now find the best dish.

Pros
Translates good to good enough
Easy to use
No internet needed
Helpful tips

Cons
Interface design


Bon Appétit!

 


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