How To Improve Your Foreign Communication Skills
How To Outsmart The Language Barrier: 5 New Apps That Guarantee Success
Business people, tourists and nomads rejoice as new applications and programs to help break those language barriers are here to help you learn and translate from language to language. Using new and advanced technology, there’s no need for word-to-word translations or textbooks. The best part? Most of them are free so you are well on your way to becoming a polyglot.
Google Translate: Visual Translator (Free): Apple, Android and Desktop
Google’s web and application based technology has been a longtime favorite of both travelers and students who need to get their Spanish homework done fast. While these are time-honored favorites, Google Translate’s app now allows you to use your phone’s camera to scan and translate signage or documents. While not all the kinks are ironed out yet, this app blew our minds by translating English into German, French, Dutch, etc… With apps like these, your guide to navigating the streets of Buenos Aires, Barcelona or Cologne is only a download away.
Skype: Smart Translator (Free): Apple, Android and Desktop
While Skype has been a longtime leader in face-to-face conferencing for families, friends and businesses alike, only recently have they made it even easier to stay in touch with their Smart Translator feature. With the touch of a button on mobile or desktop versions, you can translate conversation in real time using Microsoft’s advanced language software that recognizes grammatical differences and idioms. This smart feature helps keep the conversation flowing and brings us together, no matter the language or location.
Duolingo (Free): Apple, Android and Desktop
While learning a language can be a daunting task, millions have turned to Duolingo. By using smart crowdsourcing techniques to gather data and actually formulate the lessons, Duolingo has created quick, bite-sized lessons so many of us can pick up a second language at our own pace. The software is supported by users who have reached a high enough level to start translating real pieces of text. These exercises, once completed by many different users, are then placed back onto the internet so that more information on the web is now available in more languages. Also, once you are fluent in a language, Duolingo gives you the option to post it to your LinkedIn account allowing you to boost your marketability in the global economy. With tools to keep you motivated and an easy-to-use interface, Duolingo can help you learn almost any language from Ukrainian to Portuguese.
Fodor’s Travel Phrases ($2.99 per language): Apple
If you are not looking to pick up a second language but still need to know some basic phrases, Fodor’s Travel Phrases may be the best option for you. You can purchase the handy, searchable guide at $2.99 inside the app or $9.99 for all 22 language versions. This app helps you pronounce each phrase and workouts offline, so you are never stuck without a phrase you need. With popular phrases in any language from Swahili to Greek, Fodor’s is the surefire way help make your travel experience a success.
Bonus: Swearport ($1.00) Android
While this app may not be the best way to make new friends in foreign countries, it sure can help you communicate your anger or frustration. Swearport is a catalog of expletives in a myriad of languages as well as a guide on how to use them.