If you are planning on traveling outside the US this year then Google Translate is just the thing to slip into your pocket before you head for the airport.
Offering translations in over 50 languages there’s a good chance that it’s got your back wherever you land.
Translation is performed by selecting the languages to translate between, entering the text and pressing the Go button. The text in your target language will then appear below in large text and can even be expanded to full screen. Touch the small speaker icon and it will speak the phrase with an accent that, while I’m sure funny to natives, is far better than I could muster.
If you’re using an iPhone or Android phone then speech entry is also possible, which might help you with the response you receive from the locals.
The one downside is that for this to work it needs an internet connection. That’s fine if you can find a wi-fi hotspot, but if you turn on your internet connection while overseas you’re likely to run up a huge data charge by the time you get home. Then again, if you’re trying to explain to the police why you couldn’t possibly be “The butcher of Paris” it might be worth the cost.
As a travel companion this is one app that you definitely not be without. It’s free, easy to use, and could avoid this sort of unpleasant interaction with the natives.