The world is getting ever more interconnected, with people whizzing about the place and often doing business in different countries and with different peoples. Of course, that does mean there are ever more languages involved. After all, though many people speak English at an estimate of 1.5 billion or 20% it certainly isn’t everybody. To reach the other 6 billion people out there you want to have access to their language.
Now, one way to do that would be to learn their languages. But as there are almost 7000 languages in the world, that would be a bit of an undertaking. So while you’re learning all those extra tongues you might want a good stand in. A great one are the many translation apps out there. Now, don’t trust these to correctly translate the entire works of Shakespeare (you’ll need to go to the established translation sites for that), but they’ll certainly permit you to find out where the toilet is. And that has to count for something when you’ve got – you know – an emergency.
Particularly after their update back in 2016, Google Translate has become a truly formidable player in the translation game. In most tests they outperform the competition. What’s also cool is how you can point the camera at things and then have the translation tool render it into it into another language. That’s very useful if you don’t want to order pig’s intestines (or dog).
Isn’t it strange how not so long ago Microsoft was the behemoth that everybody feared? No more, of course. Still, that doesn’t mean they’re in second place in everything. They do do somethings well. For example, their translation software is certainly up to scratch.
The best feature they have that Google Translate does not is their live translation service. This allows you to have a far more natural conversation with another person. Great in case you find the love of your life but realize you don’t have a language in common. Of course, in that case you will need to both speak one of the ten languages that offer this service. But hey, you can’t win them all.
They say it’s a “universal translator”. I think that’s going a bit far. I know it might struggle with languages from Alpha Centauri. Still, SayHi certainly isn’t bad. You can speak right into the app and it translates, which is great if you don’t want to spend your whole time bent over the keyboard.
Another nice feature is that it can also be put on the kindle. In case, you know, you don’t actually have a smart phone (do those people still exist?). Oh and there is no android version available. Yup. They went there.
Okay, you both need phones, but if you do then this device can be phenomenally useful as it can let you translate languages in both directions. So you speak English and they hear Spanish and vice versa.
Note that it doesn’t have to be an Apple device. You can, in fact, also install this bit of software on your android. Yes. Cross platform functionability from an apple product. Wonders really do never cease.
It can also do text-to-speech offline, which is always useful in case you’ve penetrated too far into the Jungle and can’t get a wifi signal (it has been known to happen).
With WayGo the producers decided to focus on incredible translation into a few languages instead of broad translation into a lot of languages. So if you’re going to use the languages they can translate, this is a great choice. If you don’t, well then you should look elsewhere.
The languages in question? Korean, Chinese and Japanese. So yeah, that does cover a lot of people.
The best thing is probably that this program can translate street signs and menus with your camera. That can be an absolute god send if you’re in those countries as when you can’t read their signs then you’re basically illiterate again (and that can be hell if you’re trying to find your way to say your hotel late at night).
Oh yes, and it works offline. So if you don’t have any data or don’t feel like buying a local card in those countries, you’re still set. Nice, right?
Want to not just translate but also learn the language? Then you’ve got to choose TripLingo. It doesn’t just translate, but also gives you lesson plans, a phrase book, cultural information and more. Heck, you even have the option to find formal, casual and slangy options in case you want to say something slightly differently in case you want to take your date to the opera, for a coffee, or you’re just horny.
You can even get a live translator in case situations get really sticky. Of course, that does cost you extra, but it’s a nice touch.
So there you go. That’s a lot of options. Each with a slightly different flavor or focus. So find out what you’re really after before you decide to go with a specific tool. Do you want to communicate with lots of people or just one? Do you want to read street signs or get to know a country? Are you planning to go off the grid or are you happy staying close to wifi?
Based on those decision you’ll be able to figure out what you need and what to download. Of course, there are different prices involved as well so that might be another factor you’ll want to consider.
Good luck and good travels!
Dina Indelicato is a blogger enthusiast and freelance writer. She is always open to research about new topics and gain new experiences to share with her readers. You can find her on Twitter @DinaIndelicato and Facebook.