Translation apps have been in the App Store since day one, but the vast majority completely miss the boat. Picture this: you are traveling to a place that doesn’t count English as its official language (the United States?) and you need an app to help you get around. The majority of the travel apps out there are one of two things – they either translate long phrases from English to another language, often resulting in translated gibberish, or have endless lists of phrases that you can use (if you can find the right one).
Brad O’Hearne of Big Hill Software (Big World) figured that the average traveller just needs to know where, when, and how much, and that handing your iPhone to someone, especially in a foreign country, probably isn’t a good idea. His newest app, Dialects, translates any of the included languages to another using simple screens instead of complex menus and shoddy translation boxes.
Here’s how it works: let’s say you wanted to ask someone in Moscow where the mall was. All you have to do in Dialects is go to the “Where” tab and type “mall” into the text box. The screen then rotates to orient to the other person (and lets you hold onto your phone the entire time), shows “Where is the mall?” and lets the person double tap the screen to drop a pin on a map. No more, “right turn here, left at my grandmothers house,” just a semi-exact location of where the mall is. Like “Where,” the “When” and the “How Much” let you input a simple word and then lets the other person give you the answer via sliders (the “How Much” has a currency slider as well) – no translation required.
So next time you find yourself overseas, or at the local supermarket in some cities, be sure to take Dialects along with you. It costs absolutely nothing and could save you from the embarrassment of tossing out translated gibberish. People in foreign lands will thank you.
Released: 2010-10-18 :: Category: Travel
Tagged with: big hill software, dialects, translation