Google Translate App for Apple iPhone

by PYB James | Feb 02, 2011

Douglas Adams infamous Babel Fish is one step closer to reality with the release of the Google Translate App for iPhone. Although nobody is suggesting one should insert your iPhone into your ear, the app is certainly likely to prove useful, especially for travellers.

It allows you to speak or type a phrase in any one of 15 languages, and will translate this into more than 50 languages. You can also get your Apple iPhone to speak the translated phrase aloud in 23 different languages. It has support for favourites – “starring” certain phrases and stored history – which works even when not online. With larger blocks of translated text, or perhaps to show the person you are communicating with, you can zoom in to ease readability, simply by tapping the zoom icon.

The app uses synthesised voice to play the translation, so you don’t have to worry about your pronunciation.

Sadly, a live “conversation mode” giving you real-time simultaneous translation is missing in the iOS version, although an English/Spanish version is available in the Android release.

Alongside the recently released (and very clever) World Lens app, this is an incredibly useful tool, which will easily get you around the world, at least from a language perspective.

This is the fourth iOS app from Google, the others being Google Voice (which gives you free SMS and voicemail transcription), Google Latitude (for location sharing) and Google Places (find local business near to you).

Google Translate is a free download from the App Store, and requires iOS 3.0 or later.

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