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It was somewhat funny when I came across Tap-Translate. You see, in my professional life, my industry is actually Translations & Localization, and coming from that, I know how important it is to be able to read a foreign language write-up with the right deliverance of meaning to reach the right conclusion. This is even more important in certain industries and professions, like the financial services sector, but anyone using the internet can come across any such case where you might find some information useful to you in a language that you don’t understand, but would still want to read it. Thankfully, with browsers like Google Chrome, you can get a whole page automatically translated – complete with automatic source language detection – but what if you don’t have access to such a desktop browser? What if, like me, you, too, are a fan of browsing the web on your iPad?

Let me give you a scenario. My primary Android phone is a Huawei Ascend P1 U9200, and all the modding and tinkering that exists for this device resides on a Chinese forum. While I download the required content and ROMs on my PC, I still prefer to keep tabs on the progress of various areas through my all-comfy iPad, and for that, the language barrier does make things rather inconvenient. Tap-Translate is a universal iOS app worth $9.99 that lets you get translation and pronunciation of any word or paragraph in iPhone or iPad’s Mobile Safari at just a tap. Although priced rather steep, normally, this useful app has just gone free, so now might be a good chance to grab it. What it does is add a bookmark to Safari, which you can invoke to initiate tap-translation on any page of your choosing.

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There are two approaches to using Tap-Translate. The app comes with a browser (of sorts) of its own, where you can navigate to any page and use the bubble in top-left corner to start the translation engine (language settings are also available here), you can integrate the service with Safari using a JavaScript bookmarklet. For that, use the link to launch the target page in Safari, which will automatically copy the required JS to your clipboard. Add a bookmark with Tap-Translate (or whatever name you desire), and modify the address with the copied JS code.

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Now, whenever a word needs to be translated, just hit the bookmark, and the page will reload with Tap-Translate enabled. Tap any word, and you’ll get the translation right away in a neat popup. What’s more, word pronunciations can be heard as well, along with the ability to send the whole page to Google Translate for conversion. Convenient, isn’t it?

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Tap-Translate is, in my opinion, unfairly expensive, despite its usefulness, but if you head over to the App Store right now, you might be able to get it for free while the offer lasts. Since it’s universal, the app is equally good for both iPhone and iPad.

(Source: Tap-Translate for iOS on App Store)

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