If you’ve ever been (lucky enough to travel) abroad you may have encountered difficulties communicating with people at some point, even though many people speak English (the language considered by some linguists to be the ‘global language killer’) all around the world.
The Android app Travel Interpreter was designed to help in such situations: it can be used both to learn a language and as a tool for when you need to communicate a semantic to someone but don’t know how to say it in the foreign language.
Find out the details in today’s review.
Features & Use
Test device: HTC Desire / Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v
Android-Version: 2.3.3 / 3.0.1
Mods: Root, CM7 Custom ROM / none
First things first: this app isn’t a classic translator’s aid, in the sense that it’s basically a database of phrases, idioms and useful words.
The first time you start Travel Interpreter 75MB of images are downloaded; these images will be used to illustrated phrases and idioms. Once this file has been successfully donwloaded the app will start with an overview of the available languages. There are 29 languages to choose from and download, and the app itself comes in 30 languages. These files have an average size of 25MB and they are saved to your deveice’s SD card so as not to clog up the internal memory. The same things goes for the images–everything gets saved to the SD.
Once that’s out of the way you can get cracking on looking up how to say things in another language. The languages that you have downloaded (and that are hence available to you) are displayed near the top. Click on Overview the have a look at the different categories. There are quite a few categories to choose from: customs, hotel, driving, sightseeing, eating and drinking, etc. All categories are further organised into sub-categories under which you will find the phrase you are (hopefully) looking for.
There’s a search bar in every overview that can be used to comb through all the words and phrases of a given language. Just start typing the first few letters of a word and results will be displayed.
You can click on the image that illustrates a given phrase so that the phrase is displayed, without having to leave the results of your search. But be careful, because if you click on the text you will be teleported away.
The image is displayed in the middle of the screen, the text in the original language and the translation can be found below. The three buttons located below the image allow you to navigate back to the previous image or to skip ahead to the next one, or else to listen to an audio clip of the phrase. There are two more buttons located at the top of the display: the left one navigates back to the previous overview, and the right one can be used to listen to the phrase in another language, provided that you have downloaded it.
The audio clips are recordings of native speakers saying the words or phrases, hence listening to them pronounce words and phrases is a good way to learn to do it yourself. Controls are also clear and concise and well structured. My only comment would be that the word and image files are quite large, but even that shouldn’t be too much of an issue, seeing as the are saved to the SD card.
All in all Travel Interpreter is a great tool and won us over thanks to its wide spectrums of languages and phrases on offer. While it may not be the kind of tool that can help you master a language fully, it will certainly make communicating abroad a whole lot easier.
Screen & Controls
Travel Interpreter’s controls are very easy to get the hang of. Th UI is somewhat reminiscent of iOS / Apple – which, let’s face it, isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The graphics are pretty clear, as are the audio clips. Top notch quality here!
Speed & Stability
Travel Interpreter didn’t crash or lag once during my test runs.
Travel Interpreter costs a whopping EUR 7.99, but by downloading it you are getting access to 29 languages. The app can be downloaded in the AndroidPIT App Center and from Google Play.
As our app of the week, Travel Interpreter is currently available for only EUR 3.99.
There’s a very good 5-day test version available for those of you who want to try it out before committing.