Impressions: Six-in-one Translator (DSiWare)

While waiting in line to get our hands on Wii Sports Resort, a gentleman approached us, proposing a question that, when issued in the fine city of Los Angeles, would normally be cause for concern: "Wanna see something cool?" Our interest was piqued, and his Nintendo exhibitor badge assured us that we wouldn't be shivved, so we answered with an apprehensive "yes." The reward for our bravery was a quick look at the coolest app we've yet to see from the DSiWare service -- the Six-in-One Translator (tentatively titled, natch).

Translator is a neat little application. It's got a huge dictionary of words from six languages: English, Japanese, Spanish, French, Italian and German. You can enter in a word from one of those languages and find its definition in the other five -- but the impressive thing about it is the input method. Aside from the keyboard and handwriting methods you've seen before on Nintendo's handheld, you can use the DSi camera to take a picture of text you wish to translate, crop the image around the word using the stylus, then see it in five other languages.

In the brief demo we checked out, the user took a picture of a few characters in a Japanese menu. He highlighted the characters by dragging the stylus across them. The software quickly recognized the characters in a matter of moments, and provided their definition in the other five languages -- "consume," etc. If the full product works as well as the brief demo we saw, the Six-in-One Translator could end up being the software that justifies the very existence of the DSiWare platform.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.