Title page of one of the earliest phrase books of Sindebele to be published in Rhodesia: J. O'Neil's "Phrase Book in English and Sindebele", 1910: Ellis Allen, Bulawayo, Rhodesia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
You might say: “Come on, dear… we got those fantastic (half working) phrase book App. We do not need any one more.
Yeah. That’s true, but as far as I’ve seen these phrasebooks work partially and not as this one.
Despite it is still non-totally-working because of the bad quality of voice recognition technology we have nowadays, it might work better, with some pre-configured set of languages.
It will work with voice recognition, and you say the phrase you need to say somewhere in the world (in some preset language, of course), it recognizes your message (let’s say it works as source language mainly English, and then it gives you the phrase in the target language. You can just play the thing out loud in a restaurant, bus station, news stand etc (it can be separated by categories, so the set to look up the sentences will be quite restricted).
If you need, for example order a beer, you say the sentence in English (ok, am I being too lazy, you can type it, but we are talking about communicating, and speaking is faster) or select it from a given set. Your phrase book App look up for the counterpart in the target language and says it aloud to you.
If you are a daring person, you can try to repeat it by yourself, but you can avoid the scene, and help native people go quicker then you “treiaul oov seayiing dthe seenteenss in dtheirr laenguaegdj” . Why that if you can have your personal digital interpreter?
Your interpreter will also help you to understand the answers you get. You ask your service/ product provider to speak clearly to your phone/ tablet/ gadget. The App will look for a similar sentence into its database. It will, then return you a (written) translation.
I am afraid it will have to rely on web, for having both ways of translations. But if you skip this last feature, I do not think only an off-line application would be non-working.
We have plenty of platforms for that, such as Forvo or Google voices. And I am in the queue for acquiring one in my next travel to Hungary – I don’t dare trying to speak that language myself.