Software

Five free tools to help you translate foreign languages

Five free tools to help you translate foreign languages

Over the years, I have been fortunate to see so much of the world. I regularly travel to various foreign countries both for business and for pleasure. Although I always try to learn a few key phrases in the local language of whatever place I am visiting, I am really fluent in only a couple of languages. This is usually enough to get by on, but sometimes it can be tough to decipher the meaning of signs when you don't speak the language. Fortunately, there are a number of language translation apps that can help in these types of situations.

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Image: iStockphoto.com/UygarGeographic

1 comments
KristinePeterson
KristinePeterson

I like Duolingo, been using it for a couple of weeks now for Spanish and I might try German out later, I believe their next plans are to add Italian and Chinese. The translations are definitely a lot harder than the early lessons. I haven't got much beyond the first section yet but I did A level Spanish a few years ago and hovering over the descriptions of the later topics there are ones I recognise from A level so it appears to take you up to a reasonable standard (though I had a teacher who expected a great deal and gave us an insane amount of work so my level achieved from school may not be typical) so maybe by the time you've got to the end the translations are more approachable. I'll wait and see, this will be tested better with German which I have never studied before.

Some updates for Spanish have been done in the last couple of days so that may have worked out some of the kinks. I have found so far that it has accepted European Spanish as alternative answers, the use of Latin American Spanish confused me initially but I'm becoming accustomed to it. The 3 lives thing may be something that appeals specifically to a certain age group for whom the 3 lives in video games was the standard (including me - I'm 24) but I really like it and it gives clear feedback when you get something wrong. A brilliant concept and more fun that a lot of other methods I've tried.

http://www.apktranslation.com/