Continuing the discussion on translation related iPhone apps, we review some more popular apps like World Nomads, Lonely Planet Phrasebooks, and Coolgorilla Talking Phrasebooks here below. As mentioned previously these apps can only serve as a guide particularly for people on the move and can not substitute professional translation service providers
for achieving accurate results. Their scope of translation is also limited to a few hundred words / phrases.
This free iPhone app is suitable for travelers. It handles 23 languages that include Australian English, Arabic, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Swedish, Greek, Turkish, Dutch, Japanese, Cambodian, Cantonese, Lao, Mandarin, Malay, Thai, Indonesian, Vietnamese and Hindi. It stores popular phrases under various categories like places to stay, directions, etc.
One can listen to the audio clip of a phrase pronounced by a native speaker by just selecting it. Most key words that a tourist normally requires are included. Also some of them have been strung together to form a short audio skit that can be listened to along with relevant background sound effect. A limitation is that the list is too short and does not contain many of the day to day phrases that one would require to use.
Lonely Planet Phrasebooks
Created by the same people who publish the popular Lonely Planet travel guides, each phrasebook covers one language and costs $10. In all 18 languages like French, German, Spanish, Italian, Czech, Greek, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Turkish, Mexican, Japanese, Korean, Swahili, Thai, Vietnamese, Cantonese and Mandarin are included.
There are more than 600 phrases in each app. But the search is somewhat slow and tedious and there is a time lag before the audio clip is played. Translations for many non traditional sentences like ‘Do you have vegetarian food?’ etc. can also be searched. The print version of Lonely Planet travel phrase books are however more detailed than these apps.
Coolgorilla Talking Phrasebooks
These apps have been created by an English company and hence use British English. English to Spanish translation
and also French, Italian, German, Greek, Portuguese, Dutch, and Japanese translations are available. Each app costs $1 per language. There are over 500 phrases in each app, much more than World Nomads.
The phrases are arranged category wise like accommodation, food etc., and 40 in all. The translations appear in text as well as audio. Simple sentences like ‘Would you like a drink?‘ can also be translated. The apps run somewhat slow and crash once in a while.
We will discuss some more iPhone apps related to translation in subsequent blogs.