As someone who most definitely doesn’t have an ear for language, I’ve bumbled my way through plenty of foreign countries, so I was thrilled to find SayHi Translate: Use Your Voice to Speak a New Language like a Pro, available universal iDevice, which is currently on sale for the bargain price of a dollar.
SayHi features support for 33 languages, 24 of which offer speech recognition. You can change your input and output languages through the tool icon (and also adjust settings for the microphone). Simply speak clearly into your device and the app will display your words as text in both your primary language and the language you’re translating to. This is—usually—quickly followed by the translated phrase spoken for you. If you’re having a conversation with a non-English speaker, they can tap their language button and the app will then translate into English (or your chosen language). If speaking your words aloud isn’t optimum, you can type your phrases, too.
Not all languages support dual input. For instance, with Arabic, you can only translate to, rather than from, audio speech. An Arabic speaker could type out a message or phrase for translation, but you’d have to change your keyboard settings for that to work. But even, with this small setback I was impressed with how well SayHi actually worked. Its results were accurate nearly 100 percent of the time, both in its speech and in its transcription via my iPhone 4. On a few occasions the app stopping responding with audible translations, but I believe this was due to my Wi-Fi signal. Restarting the app sparked it back to life.
SayHi Translate does require an Internet connection to work, but its sale price makes it worth snapping up.