Google Translate for Travel

Posted by Graham with 3 Comments

Chances are you know someone who speaks a second language… they are known as bilingual. People that know three or more languages are typically called multi-lingual. People that speak only one language are known as American.

If you’ve done any traveling outside the United States you know this to be true. Americans are one of the largest populations with the highest percentage of people speaking only one language and I am no exception. I recently returned from a trip to Europe where I learned how to say only a handful of words in the local language. Of course a lot of people I met in my travels spoke some English and I was able to navigate but there were some I encountered who did not speak English at all. One man I encountered happened to be my waiter at the restaurant I was dining at for the evening!

[This post is part of the iDevice Travel Series, make sure to check out other iTravel tips!]

I was hungry but I am also a very picky eater. I needed to make sure both he and I understood what it was I was ordering. Thank God the joint had WiFi, because my CDMA iPhone would not connect any other way, and I was able to download the Google Translate app.

A quick side note. The day I downloaded the Google Translate app on my iPhone was the 5th day into my 9 day trip. I can’t believe it took me that long to think of it! Once I downloaded it I can’t believe how useful it was!

Before I thought about downloading it, I was trying to explain that I wanted my pizza to ONLY have pepperoni on it. He was confused and didn’t quite get it. So I let him proceed with taking orders from the rest of the people in my group. When he came back to me I typed in my order and held my phone up for him to read. He understood and 20 minutes later I had a very delicious pepperoni only pizza in front of me!

Have you used the Google Translate app while traveling before?

3 responses to Google Translate for Travel

  1. I don’t get out much. 3 kids kind of limits the travel a bit :-)

    VERY cool app though if I don’t say so myself.

  2. I love my Google Translate app. I don’t use it as much as I probably could, since we normally have a translator with us even in the restaurants, but it definitely has come in handy.

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