If you were born into a multilingual family, consider yourself lucky! Those of us raised on a single language have to make a considerable conscious effort to learn a new one. It can take months to become conversational, and years to earn linguistic fluency. Knowing a second (or third) language usually isn’t necessary to get by in your home country, however, the skill can prove invaluable during business trips and holidays abroad.
Many of us make an effort to learn the basics before visiting a new destination. It would be both rude and embarrassing to fumble on “hello”, “thank you”, “please”, and “goodbye”. These foundational phrases do more for confidence than practicality. It’s almost impossible to learn a new language to a conversational level before a trip, especially a last-minute one.
But fear not! We live in the age of information. Technology allows us access to anything we want to know. It also enables us to convert information from one language to another. The luxury of translation apps means we can make sense of written and spoken language with the tap of a button.
TOP 4 TRANSLATION APPS FOR TRAVELLING
Below is a list of the four best translation apps available. Use them to remove the stress and worry from your next holiday or business excursion. They’ll allow you to ask for directions with confidence and order food like a pro!
iTranslate is the leading translation and dictionary app. The software allows users to read and speak over 100 languages, from Hebrew and Arabic to Spanish and Lithuanian. You no longer have to spend time nervously typing your native language into a device. Instead, iTranslate will recognise your voice, convert your words to text, and translate them into the chosen language. This revolutionary app allows backpackers, business people, and holidaymakers to communicate with the locals instantly. No training or learning required.
If you’re travelling to a multilingual nation, you won’t have to guess what language you’re attempting to converse with. iTranslate will take care of this with its “Auto Detect Language” feature.
iTranslate will also help you decipher signs and text when there are no locals around to help. The app instantly translates signs, menus, and pages into the language of your choice. It’s a simple process: point, snap, and translate.
iTranslate is available for iOS and Android.
2: TRIP LINGO
Trip Lingo is a valuable app that will build your confidence abroad. Whether you’re doing business in a city or backpacking in rural areas, the software will enable you to build rapport and find your way. Trip Lingo is one of the more advanced apps; it provides instant voice translation from English to your selected language. The app acts as the linguistic middleman between you and your recipient.
Trip Lingo also enables users to connect to a live translator. This might not be necessary while travelling but will certainly add a touch of professionalism to a business meeting. Impress your clients with a skilled translator who will add context and use vital business expressions.
Travellers can also use the app to get to know the culture they’re exploring. Trip Lingo features a culture guide to help backpackers avoid mistakes and get to grips with local etiquette. The safety tools are another essential feature to keep you safe and link you to local emergency services.
Trip lingo is compatible with iOS and Android.
3: GOOGLE TRANSLATE
Google Translate often gets a bad rap. Sure, it’s not great at accurately translating an entire essay or article, but it’ll rescue you from tricky linguistic situations abroad. Google Translate is completely free and compatible with almost every device. It doesn’t feature the voice translation features of more sophisticated apps, however, the point-and-shoot function instantly translates the contents of signs and menus.
Are you looking to communicate directly with the locals? Go ahead and use the text translation feature. Users can type in a statement or question and translate it into 103 languages. If typing isn’t one of your strengths, you can hand-draw text using the tip of your finger.
The app is super easy to use, with obvious icons and a simple layout. Overall, it’s superb for on-the-spot translation and communication.
As a native English speaker, travelling throughout Asia can be intimidating. At least European countries use recognisable letters. In countries like Japan and Korea, a glimpse of a street sign can be enough to induce confusion and panic. Waygo is the solution. The app specialises in the translation of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. However, the developers are working on adding more languages.
Waygo won’t guide you through the nuances of conversation. Instead, the app is designed to translate text into English instantly. It will enable you to decipher signs, menus, books, and magazines with no delay. The software doesn’t require an internet connection and can be relied on to translate signs and maps in the most remote of locations. The award-winning app utilises a combination of optical character recognition and machine translation to get the job done.
Waygo is available for both iOS and Android.
By using one or more of the translation apps listed above, you’ll have no excuse not to know the basics of interacting while on your journey. Happy travelling!