A universal translator or a babel fish are the stuff of science fiction. Speak one language and hear another. Machine translation has made progress in the last few years but SpeechTrans takes this one step closer to reality. In the picture above I held up the app and pressed record. I said “where is a good restaurant near here”. The app then connects to the internet where the translation happens. This does mean that translation won’t work if you don’t have connectivity.
When it works right the app no only understands your text but translates it and speaks the resulting text. If the app does not understand you correctly you can correct the text by typing before sending off the text for translation.
I did find that when the app failed to connect to the translation service it erases whatever message you were trying to translate with the error message.
The app is currently available in trial versions with one language like SpeechTrans Lite Spanish, a normal version like SpeechTrans Spanish for $4.99 and and SpeechTrans Ultimate for $14.99.
SpeechTrans Ultimate includes support for inputting: English (UK, US, AU), French (FR, CA), Italian, German, Spanish (ES, MX), Korean, Dutch, Swedish, Chinese (Mandarin & Cantonese), Russian, Danish, Japanese and outputting those languages and: Portuguese, Arabic, Polish, Czech, Greek, Finnish, Haitian Creole, Hungarian and Turkish. New languages will be added for free. It includes 400 translations pre-loaded.
Both the normal and ultimate versions includes unlimited translations. All versions support recording up to 55 seconds of speech.