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During my previous visit to Japan (2013) I twice saw an app that was able to translate from (spoken) Japanese to English and viceversa, with acceptable results and performance.

One man used an app on a tablet (I think Android), another one offered his app on a smartphone to help me talk with the waiter.

I am not sure if it was the same app, and if a iOS version exist (this would be my preferred solution, but I can find a spare Android smartphone if needed) but I would like to know if there is a recommended app to assist travelers communicate in Japanese?

It does not need to be free - I am more than willing to pay for a decent app.

  • I think google translate can do this but I am not sure. They have support for this functionality for some languages but I am not sure about Japanese. – Aiden Grossman Mar 6 '16 at 2:35
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I think I found it out myself: it is NTT DOCOMO JSpeak.

Available for iOS and Android. Free for five uses then you have to pay for a time-based subscription (1 week, 2 weeks etc.)

Important notice: apparently it requires a SIM, so you cannot use it on a Tablet or from a SIM-less phone (the SIM does not need to be Japanese, though).

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