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Yelp updates iPhone app to provide automatic translations of reviews

Yelp has been tinkering with its iPhone app, and has added new functionality whereby automated review translations are now brought to users.

What this means is that when you're abroad and using Yelp in a foreign country, local reviews which are written in the local tongue (obviously enough) will be automatically translated into English (or whatever your native language is).

That'll be pretty handy for frequent travellers who use the review site. Yelp now covers 27 countries and 15 different languages – namely English, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, German, Spanish, Italian, Norwegian, French, Polish, Portuguese, Swedish, Turkish, and Japanese.

The service is powered not by Google, but by Bing Translator, and while Yelp admits it's not perfect (and neither is Google or any automated web translation – not by a long shot), you can generally get a pretty good handle on what's being said with the translation.

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Yelp stated in a blog post: "Although machine-translation is not perfect, it's a fantastic resource for understanding the overall meaning and context of a review that would otherwise be unavailable to a Yelper who does not speak that language. Use this feature to get a general idea of a reviewer's experience, but understand that some details may be lost in translation."

While the feature is currently available only on iOS right now, it's expected to be coming to Android soon.

Yelp also recently introduced the ability to add video clips to reviews.