The Menu Says: A Handy Translation Tool in the French Diner

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menu-saysYou are in a Parisian restaurant, bistro or diner and you pick up the menu and realise – of course – it’s all in French. Unlike many eateries in other European countries, such as Spain, Germany or even Italy, French menus tend to be printed in French with no hint or clue what the English translation actually is.

The reason behind this stems from a fiercely proud French government implementing laws which give the French language dominance within its own country. After all, any London restaurant menu wouldn’t have the French translation next to it, so the French see fit to publish their menus in just the one language.

Now, we don’t know about you, but our French is a little rusty and is limited to conversational at best, but when reading a menu-2French menu, one will need to ask, ask and then ask again what it is you are ordering exactly.

But the one feature we found to be so appealing about The Menu Says is the fact that you need no internet connection to use it. You can be down some cobbled side street in Marseilles, a back alley in Paris or a tiny French bistro in Nice and find some quant backwater eatery with no Wi-Fi connection and still read the menu in English.

To translate you will have to take a photo of the menu and there may be times when cropping the photo is necessary (this allows the translation tool to work effectively) but once complete, it will return immediate results in English.

menu-1The bolder text in English appears right below the French text – this allows you to easily point to the French menu and let your waiter know exactly which dish you have opted for. The app is free to use but only for the first three translations. The simple way around this is to keep the app open and all additional translations don’t add up. A new translation is only counted where you quit the app and then reopen it for a new request.

However, it’s pretty cheap for what it does: weekly rental costs just 99c but the better option is to go for unlimited premium use (use as many times as you wish forever) at just $2.99. You’ll like this app as it translates professionally and not just like a machine which gives you poor grammar and an occasional snigger from your French hosts.

You are in a Parisian restaurant, bistro or diner and you pick up the menu and realise – of course – it’s all in French. Unlike many eateries in other European countries, such as Spain, Germany or even Italy, French menus tend to be printed in French with no hint or clue what the English translation actually is. The reason behind this stems from a fiercely proud French government implementing laws which give the French language dominance within its own country. After all, any London restaurant menu wouldn’t have the French translation next to it, so the French see fit…

Review Overview

User Interface - 9
Usefulness and Features - 8.9
Usability - 9.1

9

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