Holidays in Spain or Italy are fantastic. But apart from paella and pasta, our vocabulary is generally limited. With a translation application installed on your smartphone, your holiday life will be much easier. Yvonne Göpfert, our IT specialist, tested for us in the jungle of applications and presented five useful translation applications.
Can’t you read a sign or the menu? Just take a picture and the Google application instantly knows what’s written on it. And if you don’t understand the saleswoman, just ask her to talk to your smartphone. Google Translator Whether you type a word or phrase using voice, camera, keyboard or handwriting, you will be able to interpret all conversations in real time, almost for free. Typing words and translating even works in 103 languages. You can save your current expressions so that you can find the translation immediately. If you download the appropriate language package, you can also use the application abroad without roaming charges.
iTranslate offers services similar to those of Google, but costs 4.99 euros per month or 39.99 euros per year. Speech recognition saves you from typing anything and unlimited translations into 50 languages. The strength of iTranslate lies in the quality of the translations. The free version translates the typed words and reads them at the touch of a button. iTranslate Photo also helps you with posters or brochures, but costs an extra fee.
The focus of this application is on digital communication: Thus, any translation on Facebook, Twitter, in an e-mail or a text message. With the built-in copy and paste function, you can send messages to foreign friends, for example via chat. iHandy translates 52 languages in the free version and remembers your submission history. You do not have to type recent expressions and translations. However, the application lacks voice recognition.
Babylon Translator « searches » several servers to provide detailed translations. The free application also translates longer texts very quickly. You can type the words, speak into the microphone or mark a word in an e-mail or newspaper article read on your smartphone. Currently, 75 languages are available and can be retrieved offline. With Babylon’s second application – Babylon Touch – you can also photograph and translate texts. The photo scanning function is currently only online and is therefore not always used abroad.
If the translator’s applications do not have the language of their holiday destination in their program, you can always use images. After all, a dictionary of images rather than words is understandable all over the world. They simply show you examples from the areas of emergencies and diseases, emotions, food and drink consumption or shopping, and show what you mean. On request, the application can also read and pronounce the words. And if you are on the site for a while and want to learn a basic vocabulary, the application plays the ideal teacher. PONS offers a wide range of illustrated conversation guides.