By Kate O’Neal
Have you ever wanted to travel to a foreign country but felt intimidated by the language barrier? Visiting a country without knowing the language definitely throws a twist in traveling. I grew up in a family with a strong German heritage and had always been told Germans are quite fluent in the English language. I took this to heart when I visited Germany a couple years ago. To my surprise, my family was not completely right! The Germans I talked to, while they understood some English, certainly were not as fluent as I was expecting. We got around primarily by pointing to menu items and pointing at which bratwurst we would like to eat from the meat counter. There were many instances where we didn’t know what the food on the menu was and the waiters would try their best to translate for us. This certainly led to a few adventurous meals! Luckily, there was a universal language everyone understood, “Beer! Light or dark?”
I recently found out about the Google Translate app, which I cannot wait to use abroad! Google Translate is available at both the iTunes App Store and Google Play. This app can translate on the spot from one language to another. To me, the greatest aspect of this app is there’s no need to worry about having an internet connection or using data, as we all know how expensive international data plans are!
Before you embark on your next international trip, be sure to download the offline language translation of the country to which you are traveling. This allows you to translate offline, without using data. If you don’t download the offline translation, you will need to rely on data in order to translate.
There are a few different ways you can use this app to translate from one language to the other, and vice versa. While I was in Germany, I could have translated from German to English, or English to German. You can type in what you want to translate, manually write it on the screen if you have a touch screen phone, talk to your phone using the microphone feature, or even take a photo of what you want translated.
I am most excited about the photo option. I can see myself taking a picture of a menu and having it automatically translated so I know what my food options are without asking the waiter to try and translate it. There really are countless examples of how the app can assist, such as communicating with hotel staff, reading public transportation signs, asking questions, withdrawing money, and certainly in an emergency situation.
I have a trip coming up this summer with plans to use the Google Translate app. I look forward to sharing my thoughts about its usefulness and accuracy afterwards!
With multiple years’ experience working with clients in many industries, Kate brings her skills and positive attitude to Network 1’s team, clients and partners. She strives to provide the best service and solutions to her clients so they can achieve greatness through Worry-Free IT.
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Network 1 Consulting is an 18-year-old IT Support company in Atlanta, GA. We become – or augment – the IT department for law firms and medical practices. Our IT experts can fix computers, but what our clients value most highly are the industry-specific best practices we bring to their firms. This is especially important with technology, along with its associated regulations and cyber threats, changing so rapidly. We take a proactive approach to helping our clients use technology to gain and keep their competitive advantage.