ESSENTIAL LANGUAGE APPS

BY CONNOR JAY

With the wave of Syrian families arriving in New Brunswick, technology is helping many residents of Fredericton overcome language barriers. Here’s a list of smartphones apps that can help you out.

  • Google Translate is the most popular translation app and arguably the best. Google Translate is easy to use and navigate. Its newest feature allows users to point their camera at a picture of text and translate it on screen. Google Translate is also host to voice translation, which allows users to translate two languages by speaking into the mic in their native tongue.
  • iTranslate is another great app, similar to Google Translate, but requires an internet connection. iTranslate allows users to save phrases for later, and has the useful feature of speaking pronunciation back to the user.
  • iTranslate Voice 2 is similar to iTranslate, but allows users to speak in their native tongue into the app and the app will translate into the other language, similar to the voice translation feature found in Google Translate.
  • Duolingo is a popular app for smartphone users looking to brush up their language skills. While this won’t help you with translation in the moment, Duolingo will help you learn new languages and phrases that can be useful.
  • Speak & Translate is an app that can do voice and text translation all in one package, similar to that of Google Translate and iTranslate. It has 42 languages available for spoken conversations and more than 100 available for written contexts.
  • RefuChat is another useful app that lists important phrases that might be often used by refugees and also allows you to do both live voice and text translation into several different languages.

We highly recommend both Duolingo and Google Translate. Google Translate is easy to use, and because it’s created by Google, it has every feature you need. Duolingo is great for both learning new languages and brushing up on languages you already know but haven’t used in a while. While it’s by no means a replacement for taking a course with an instructor, it can help you with the basics and give you some understanding of the language.