Years ago, pocket translators were woefully unhip, LCD-screen-packing, single-purpose devices. Fast forward to today, and our smartphones and tablets have given rise to a whole new generation of on-the-go translation apps. For the BlackBerry crowd, iSpeech Translator is well worth checking out before leaving on your next journey away from home.
The app supports both text entry and speech input, and it’s fairly good at recognizing spoken words. I say “fairly” because when I asked iSpeech to sort out “Would you help me sell my child to the gypsies,” it jotted down “digit sees” at the end of the sentence. The translations aren’t always bang-on either, but they’re certainly good enough to get you out of a jam when you’re trying to communicate with locals whose language you don’t speak. iSpeech shows you a printed translation and will read it aloud as well, and both the Spanish and French examples I threw at sounded pretty darn accurate.
Translations do take a bit of time to process (shorter phrases are faster, obviously), and you’ll need an active data connection since the app is cloud-powered. Despite its shortcomings, iSpeech can be quite useful — and it’s certainly a massive step up from talking more loudly in your native tongue when people don’t understand.
iSpeech runs on pretty well every BlackBerry in existence, requiring only OS 1.0 or better and it’s carrier-agnostic to boot.