Whether you’re watching the World Cup or going on a business trip overseas, you will experience foreign cultures and run into what’s known as “the language barrier.” Thanks to technology, you can quickly and easily make sense of World Cup statistics, or make your way around a city where English isn’t the norm.
How Many Languages Does Google Speak?
You might not speak fluent French, but Google sure does, along with Spanish, Russian, German, Japanese, Chinese, Korean… well, you get the idea. With a Google Translate app installed on your phone, you can translate phrases at will. Need to know where the closest bathroom is? Just type it into the translator, and then find a nearby resident to direct you. Oh, and it can’t hurt to know how to say “please” and “thank you” as well!
It should be noted that Google offers only a rough translation. It takes years to truly master a language and all of its intricacies, so don’t expect a perfect or grammatically sound translation.
They Speak, iTranslate Listens, You Learn!
iTranslate, a feature on Apple’s iPhone, takes it a step further and allows for verbal translations. The iPhone is able to detect languages during speech and translate it for you. This is particularly useful when someone is speaking to you and you don’t have any idea what they are saying. However, some people speak a little too quickly, and the iPhone might not be able to keep up.
We said it before, and we’ll say it again – technology isn’t a substitute for learning a second language, but it sure can be helpful in the endeavor.
Translate Me? No, Translate You
Translate Me, another free app, can be used to translate from one language to another. One of the most useful things about this app is the “Swap” button, which lets you invert the phrase that you just entered. Say you translated a phrase from Japanese to English – hitting the “Swap” button would swap it from English to Japanese (not much of a help, considering that Japanese characters are much different from English, partially limiting what this app can and can’t do).
This app also keeps an archive of everything you search for for easy access later. This is particularly useful if you are traveling a lot. Who knows – maybe one day you won’t even need a translation app!
Ziggy Who? Stardust?
This isn’t the David Bowie song we’re talking about here – it’s another interaction app for your smartphone called Ask Ziggy. The app itself isn’t dedicated to translation, but acts more like Siri for the iPhone, allowing you to ask questions and get answers, or prompt your phone to do certain commands. In this case, the app will translate your voice (or another’s) to another language.
When using Ziggy, you need to manually enable the translation settings. Afterward, the app will translate anything you say exactly, so be careful with how you word things. Otherwise, you might tell someone “translate good evening” on accident and not realize it until they give you a funny look!
The Most Generic Translator Name Ever
The simply-named Online-Translator.com app can translate to or from multiple languages at once. It even allows you to use a Topic area, which lets you specify what kind of word you are trying to translate. This can be especially useful for a Germanic language (such as German or English) where capital letters can be the difference between a verb and a noun. This will help you find the right translation for the right phrase. Like Translate Me, this app keeps an archive of searched phrases for later access.
No matter where in this world you go, you can rest easy knowing that you will be able to get back to your hotel or find the nearest bathroom with ease. Think Tank NTG can hook you up with all sorts of mobile technology for your business in addition to these mobile apps to keep you more effective while on the road. To take advantage of these perks, call Think Tank NTG at 800-501-DATA – we’ll do our best to make technology a little less foreign to you!