Google Translate is a language translation application where users can translate words or phrases in over 57 languages. There are also many features which make the application really useful when attempting to communicate with someone with another language. The app was released for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch on the 8th of February 2011 by Google. It is currently free to download. Many of the features require access to the internet; however there is the ability to save translations offline for later use.
Google Translate is designed to be a practical and helpful solution when dealing with other languages. The main function of the application allows users to translate from and to 57 languages and provides the ability to display these phonetically, and for the app to speak the phrase aloud. This is available simply by typing using the on-screen keyboard. The speech ability is only available for 23 languages.
The translator also allows for the translation of voice, so users can speak, or get the foreign person to speak, into the microphone and have the translation appear on screen. This is available for 15 languages. iPod touch users will also require a headset to perform this as there is no in built microphone.
The application works mainly through using Internet connectivity, so again iPod touch users may have issues as they will need to connect to a Wi-Fi point. Luckily Google have prepared for this by allowing users to save translations offline and access their entire history of translations. The user has the ability to star each translation to add it to a favourites list for easy access too.
The Google Translate application doesn't look much at the moment but it is still in the early days. The user interface is boring and dry, and the translator does not work too well on the less popular foreign languages. It even had trouble translating common phrases into polish, which is becoming a widely used language. These slips are all able to be explained by the infancy of the application and in time will more than likely be fixed. On the up side, the app has some great features, such as being able to display text on the full screen for easy reading.
Overall, this app is good, and because it is free, it is highly recommended. There are without a doubt problems with the app, but Google Translate is still a great addition to any holiday or business trip.