Developer: Random House
Price: Free
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

iPhone Integration Rating: ★★★☆☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★★☆
Re-use Value Rating: ★★★☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Somewhat understandably given the price point, Fodor’s Travel Phrases is more of an introduction to 22 different languages, offering a phrase book full of the most commonly used terms needed to get by in a foreign country.

The app is simple to get started with. There’s no filler, users simply tap their way around the menus, selecting the language they’re after. A variety of languages are covered including Middle Eastern languages such as Arabic and Hebrew to European languages such as French and German. In each case, basic terms such as “hello,” “goodbye,” and “my name is” are translated for the user. Alongside the written term, a chirpy person reads the word aloud so that users understand how to say it. No phonetics are used here which is unfortunate for those trying to perfect their pronunciation of a phrase, especially when it comes to longer terms. As a basic guide, however, Fodor’s Travel Phrases covers the bases.

Conveniently, users can “favorite” a term for even faster consultation at a later time. This proves particularly useful once language packs have been purchased and the full 400 phrases have been unlocked for each language.

As a free app, Fodor’s Travel Phrases is quite limited with only basic stock phrases included. To truly benefit from the phrase app, users need to spend $1.99 to unlock one pack or $14.99 to unlock the full selection of 22 languages. It offers flexibility for those only interested in a couple of languages but it’s a shame that the app doesn’t offer more, such as sharing functionality or phonetics. It’s an adequate starter package but for those keen to master a language rather than simply get by in a foreign country, there are better options out there.

Posted in: iPad Apps and Games, iPad Travel, iPhone Apps and Games, Reviews, Travel

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