|"Spock, I think Bandai wants us to attach part A to part D ..."|
For a tech savvy painter/modeller who is strangely averse to the app revolution, the Google Translate Android App has been a surprising find; more so since I was a regular user of the browser version. Available to Android Smartphone users since 2010, the app is currently in its fourth iteration and it's only now that I had decided to take the plunge and install the app and its Japanese language pack.
|Using the Google Translate App to decipher the Bandai model kit instructions|
Being fairly straightforward and intuitive to use, I had the app working for me in no time. It's a simple process of using your smartphone to take a photo, then swiping to highlight the relevant text, and finally getting the translation on screen (see Steps 1 to 3 below).
|First language package I downloaded was ... surprise, surprise ... Japanese|
|Step One: Take a picture of the text you want translated|
|Step Two: Swipe your finger to highlight the text you want translated|
|Step Three: Text translated|
Now, I don't know much Japanese beyond the very basics and even then it's more in the realms of spoken rather than the writing system of kanji, hiragana and katakana. Hence I'm putting a certain amount of blind faith and trust in the Google Translate app's translating ability. Based on a cursory glance, the app seems to be getting the basic phrases/words right. On the other hand, for more complicated sentences the translated text at times look like bad English with some nonsensical words strewn about resulting from the app's inability to understand the nuances of the Japanese language. But unless you have a personal live-in ex machina translator, this app is the best you've got.
|More translations of simple Japanese text|
|Trivia on the Universal Translator; source: fsd.trekships.org/operations/comms-ut.html|
For you casual Star Trek fans out there, you might be interested in this interesting little piece of trivia on the Universal Translator as seen above. Heck, in the future they might even have one with a PG-13 setting in which swear words are turned into beeps or, and this would be amazing, translate finger gestures into actual words. No more confusion arising from the middle finger gesture then.
Just looking at the Bandai Star Wars model kits released (and those in its release schedule), I can tell you I'm already at the Shut Up and Take My Money stage. With my problem being a severely limited budget, I have to be careful where I source the model kits as in Malaysia prices range drastically from good value to ridiculously overpriced. For example, prices of the Bandai 1/48 scale Imperial AT-ST walker range from as low as RM82 to more than double at RM167.90. My advice is be patient and do your research before buying. Alternatively you can stay tuned to my blog for a future post on getting your Bandai Star Wars fix without going flat broke. You're still gonna have to tighten your belt but at least you'll have that shiny plastic kit in your hands. Search your feelings, you know it to be true ...