Time was when travelers depended on the little phrase book with necessary and common sentences to help negotiate the landscape in another language. Where is the bathroom? I am hungry. My head hurts. How much does it cost? All of which are great when you need something but not easy to work into a conversation in another language. Plus there was the difficulty of understanding what others were saying. Then along came Google’s innovation on this theme with its Translate tool. And by the way this is a great tool, as it will even determine the language being spoken. But the world of translation is also undergoing innovation in a big way. With more than ten translation apps for mobile devices, there’s one for almost every need.
Translation innovation spans the spectrum from translation as you speak into a microphone, to iSpeak, a text-to-speech app, to Ultralingua which has verb conjugation, and Word Lens which translates words from photos snapped with a camera phone. Word to the wise, this tool needs some tweaking for accuracy. Odessey Translator Pro is an app that facilitates better communication by helping the user to build sentences in another language. The latest innovation on this theme is Vocre, which is attracting attention for its enhanced user experience and use of the phone’s accelerometer among others. A user simply speaks into the Vocre app then flips the phone horizontally and the phone “speaks” the translated version. All very useful in taxi cabs.
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