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Google Translate

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Magical travel app disolves language barriers

Google Translate Review

by on February 22, 2011

Google’s quest to take over the web with great free stuff continues with this smart travelling companion.

Type a phrase into the text box on the app’s main screen and you can select from dozens of languages (some pretty obscure – “Galician”, anyone?) for almost instant textual translation.

More widely-used options such as French, German, Russian, Chinese and Arabic can also read the translated text back to you, so you can learn the proper pronounciation or just point the phone at puzzled foreigners and press play.

Another useful feature is how the app stores your most recent translations, meaning the savvy traveller could pre-load the app with useful phrases and then just have it regurgitate them to suit the situation, like a talking, programmable phrase book.
You can also speak into the app and have it translate your words (first into text, then into speech again in a target language). The process can be a little bit shaky (the app has trouble with some names and longer words and phrases), and it would take a bit of to-ing and fro-ing, but you could feasibly use this app to hash out a complete spoken conversation with a person with whom you shared not a single word of common language. And of course, as this is Google we’re talking about, the price for this Babelfish-style application is a round zero pounds and zero pence. Which we think you’ll agree is worth it many times over.

Download this app: Google Translate for iPhone

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