When the app is first loaded you are able to choose your input language as well as the output language. If there is any question of the diversity of this app, you can choose from English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Polish, Chinese, Korean, Dutch, Swedish, Arabic or Japanese. You can also choose between male and female voices for translations.
Once you have chosen your languages for translation you are brought to a screen that offers two methods of translation: speaking into the device or typing into the given text field. I found that speaking into the device was reasonably accurate, though occasionally it did miss a word or there were slight errors in the interpretation. Overall it was very impressive and pictured myself in the streets of a foreign country and allowing one of the locals to speak into my iPad so that I can read or listen to the translation in English.
Recording time is limited to 55 second blocks, but this provides plenty of time for most phrases and all translations are saved automatically to a history log so you can refer back to them later.
Value added features, as if anything else were required, allow you to integrate with Facebook (dictate status updates or speak with individuals in other languages), send out tweets through Twitter, cut and paste text from other applications as well as being able to e-mail yourself the translated text and/or audio files.
For the purchase price, 400 transcriptions are preloaded, but you can purchase more in-app. Text to speech translations are unlimited.
What I liked: This is the kind of app that turns your iPad or iPhone into a tool more than a toy. I especially love that you can speak into the device itself but that you can also type when that is more appropriate or useful.
What I didn’t like: Some translations were a bit difficult to understand when listened to over the iPad and iPhone speaker. I found Japanese and Chinese in particular often sounded almost garbled. There is also a requirement for this app to have network access via WiFi or 3G/EDGE, which may be a problem when traveling.
To buy or not to buy: If you are planning a trip anywhere you don’t speak the language, or if you have met somebody you want to communicate who speaks another language, this app is indispensable and worth every penny of the cost. It is also important to note that while the app may seem expensive, purchase entitles you to free lifetime updates with any new languages added.
- App Name: SpeechTrans Ultimate Powered By Nuance
- Version Reviewed: 1.2
- Category: Travel
- Developer: Speechtrans TM
- Price: $19.99