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Your new Japan tour guide: Yamaha's digital piano tech

About 40 companies testing system that translates announcements

Yamaha's Omotenashi Guide app translates announcements at railway stations and other locations into up to 13 languages.

TOKYO -- A free smartphone app from musical instrument maker Yamaha is making Japan a little less bewildering for international visitors.

The software, called Omotenashi Guide, translates public address announcements and almost immediately displays the results as text. About 40 companies, including All Nippon Airways and Central Japan Railway (JR Tokai), have been testing the app as a means of enhancing services for overseas travelers. At this point, up to 13 languages are available, from Chinese and Korean to English and French.   

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