How to Use Google Translate as a Vegan in Japan

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Just imagine: You are arriving in Japan as a vegan, you are hungry and you don’t know any Japanese.

Sounds like the beginning of a horror story? It doesn’t has to be!

Most vegans will probably hesitate shopping in regular stores but this little app is actually a lifesaver!

Why Google Translate is essential for any Japan trip as a Vegan

Google Translate is available on Android and iOS and turns any letter you point your camera at into your own language live on your mobile screen. Don’t believe me? It’s seriously amazing!

An animation showing how Google Translate works.

You can also take a picture and go over individual words. In some cases, this can be more precise than the live view. Obviously, Google Translate can’t replace a human being yet and a lot of times translations are very rough to say the least, but using it to get a quick grasp of product ingredients is a huge help. It is also a handy translation app if you need to look up some vocabulary.

This nifty app is really powerful and seriously makes life easier when you don’t speak much Japanese. Can you imagine how vegan life in Japan must have been pre-smartphone? Young me with little knowledge of the Japanese language was standing in the supermarket aisles for ever trying to decrypt ingredient lists with the help of my electronic dictionary (Who still remembers those little translation devises? They seem to die out nowadays).

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