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Friday, August 5, 2016

New App Translates Rail Announcements for Tourists

Above, a cleaning crew waiting to begin cleaning a shinkansen train at Tokyo Station. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Japan continues to come up with innovative ways to make things easier for visitors. The newest is an app that will translate train station announcements and send them in text messages.

According to an article in the BBC website:
A new mobile app could make life easier for foreign tourists in Japan by turning loudspeaker announcements into text in their own language. 
The free app, called Omotenashi Guide, is currently in the testing phase and is designed to work without an internet connection, the the Asahi Shimbun newspaper reports. It works by picking up a signal embedded in loudspeaker announcements, turning the audio into text in Japanese - for locals who may have hearing difficulties - and six other languages, including English, Spanish and Korean. It'll be trialled later this month at bullet train stations in Tokyo, Hamamatsu and Kyoto, and is also being tested in shopping centres and airports.
To read more, go here.

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