September 14, 2011 | by Ben Crawford
Android App Reviews, Android Apps, Commmunication, Productivity, Reviews, Tools, Travel, Uncategorized
One of the most wished-for devices is a universal translator. It could make talking to someone in another language far more convenient than using a translator or staring at each other using awkward, broken phrases of a language you learned in high school. SpeechTrans has been ported from iOS as an easy-to-use app that works wonders for anyone traveling abroad or having a fear of getting stuck in a foreign country without a way to communicate.
SpeechTrans does everything you would want. It can translate twenty-two different languages by speech or text, and has a nice Facebook Chat feature in case you have friends who don’t speak your language. The translation part of the app works great, and the speech recognition feature is a timesaver that lets you hear who you’re conversing with instead of merely texting.
SpeechTrans also allows you to e-mail the conversation or text, post your translation to Facebook or Twitter, find alternate translations, and view your saved translations. All of these features should be standard for anyone looking to compete against SpeechTrans.
The interface is very easy to learn and use. After you login, you are given a lengthy tutorial, and then you are able to select your languages and get all your translating needs done in one screen. There are big record and play buttons as well as two big conversation boxes in case the speech tool is too difficult to understand.
You can also choose between a male or female voice to make the whole conversation more realistic and bearable. Although, I thought the female computerized voice sounded much more authentic and clear. The male voice seemed a bit stuttered and garbled in multiple languages.
I wasn’t exactly sold on the speech recognition part of the app. You always have to speak clearly and slowly when doing anything with another language, and SpeechTrans picked that up perfectly. But speaking at differing volume levels and speeds, I could never figure out what made the speech recognition go awry. Sometimes it could pick up mispronounced words and fast talking, other times it would mess up simple pronouns. Since using text is an easy option, I didn’t find this problem to be deal-breaking in the slightest.
Overall, this is a must-have app for any world traveler with an Android smartphone. The speech recognition is quick, if a little fluky sometimes, and the translations are even faster and easy to set-up. The Facebook Chat is a great feature to have because you are guaranteed to make new friends with this easy conversational tool.
Rating: 5/5 Globes
Price: Free two-day trial on Getjar; Look for it on the Amazon App Store soon