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An Introduction to the Jspeak App

Today, we’d like to share with you, the international students using this website, just one of the initiatives Kobe City is undertaking to try to improve life here for its non-Japanese residents.

Kobe City and NTT Docomo, Inc. (hereafter, Docomo) are working together to use information and communications technology and data to solve regional problems and improve citizen services. Docomo’s AI technology is being used in translation solutions for non-Japanese, such as the Jspeak app, which will be used in the Kobe City Docomo AI Translation Demonstration Project.

This demonstration project, one of a number of measures, was signed into agreement by Kobe City and Docomo in March 2019 for the purpose of creating “the development of a safe and secure town using ICT.”

Details of the collaboration can be found here: (Japanese only)

[About the Jspeak app]
(As of August, 2020)

1. Overview: An app service that translates language into the native language of two speakers.

2. Monthly Fee: Free

3. Compatible OS: Android OS 4.3 and above, iOS 10.0 and above

4. How to use the app
– In-person Translation
The app can translate conversations held in-person with a foreigner between Japanese and other languages.

– Phone Translation
Calls made via the Jspeak app allow for voices on the call to be translated, so that conversations can be held in each participant’s mother tongue.
If the person you call also has the Jspeak app, users will be able to translate voice and text conversations just as with “in-person translation.” (*Text conversation = Available on Andrioid OS / Not available on iOS)
If the person you call doesn’t have the Jspeak app, they will hear a recording after you’ve finished speaking.

– Photo Translation
You can translte signs, menus, newspapers and more just by taking a photo. After you’ve checked the text, tap the rectangle that appears on screen and translate!

5. Supported Languages
– In-person Translation
English (UK, US, Australian), Chinese (China, Taiwan, Cantonese), Korean, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, German, Russian, Thai, Indonesian, Vietnamese

– Phone Translation
English (US), Chinese (China), Korean

– Photo Translation
English, Chinese (China, Taiwan, Cantonese), Korean, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, German

[In closing]
Docomo is offering the Jspeak app as a service to the general public. In Japan, it can be used for everyday conversation, studies at university, etc., and as a communication tool in times of need. When you first use it, you’ll need to download the Jspeak app. For details, please see NTT Docomo’s website.

The City of Kobe plans to continue to undertake new measures to improve life here for foreign residents.