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iTranslate Converse – FREE (+ optional subscription)
From the creators of the popular iTranslate comes another app designed to make it easier to converse with people who don’t speak the same language as you. Whereas the main iTranslate software has a bunch of different features, this new app focuses in on one aspect – live speech translation – and makes it easier and faster to use.
Using the app’s large, minimal interface, you first choose two languages to conduct a conversation in. After turning the device upside-down (which improves voice recognition in a two-way chat) the app couldn’t be simpler to use. You simply hold your thumb on screen to start recording and say your piece – the app then instantly translates what you said to the second language you chose, and reads it aloud. Then it’s your chat partner’s turn to talk back to you!
What’s nice about this system is it can automatically detect the language you’re speaking, so you don’t need to switch settings between each sentence, and if you want to say a few short things in a row it won’t get confused.
The app’s a real lifesaver if you’re going traveling or looking to practice another language with a friend. There are some limitations, which can be removed with a $5/£5 per month subscription. The app’s a free download, though, so we’d recommend downloading it to see how you get on and then just paying for a single month if you’re going on vacation and really need it.