Version Reviewed: 3.58.783
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5
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You’re going to need to pay up to glean the real benefits of Insight Guides Phrasebooks, but that doesn’t make the free app a complete waste of time by any means.
Designed to get you set up with the basics for a simple vacation, Insight Guides Phrasebooks isn’t going to help you become fluent in any language but it will help you with how to ask for directions.
The app offers up some Spanish for free. Getting Around and Places To Stay are the sections that are opened up. Tapping on one opens up some more options, such as how to buy a ticket at a station, or how to ask for what’s near to somewhere. In each case, you’re given a phonetic explanation of how to say the phrase and, in some cases, an audio clip is also offered. It’s fairly clearly laid out and if your pronunciation is really that bad, you could always show the text to the person you’re trying to communicate with.
You can add such words to a Flash Quiz game built into the app also. This means you can practice at learning such words, meaning you don’t have to rely on figuring things out as you go along. There’s a convertor section too, offering up ways of converting currencies, temperatures, weights, and more. That taps into the fact that subtle changes in different cultures can make all the difference.
Insight Guides Phrasebooks does inevitably feel a little limited without paying money, though. It’d be sensible to allow for at least a $4.99 purchase to unlock one language, with $12.99 buying you all five phrasebooks, comprising of French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. For free, Insight Guides Phrasebooks feels like a taster app rather than anything substantial enough to be truly considered essential, but that all changes once you unlock content. While it might not look great, it soon proves useful while traveling.