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04 Apr 2010
iPhone Apps for English-to-Chinese Translation
by Ming Tan, dragonbn.com
If you've been to China, you know that travelling can be difficult if you don't speak Chinese and are not accompanied by a translator. Even something as simple as telling a taxi driver where to take you can be a challenge.
Several iPhone apps are available that can translate basic phrases from English to Chinese language
. Some include voice playback, so after translating a phrase you can click a button to hear the voice playback. Better still, no internet access is needed.
One inexpensive app is English to Chinese Translator, which costs just 99 cents at the iTunes Store. In addition to translating phrases that you type in, you can also select from 500 common words and phrases such as "Take me to the airport". Don't expect flawless translation with apps like this -- they are helpful but not perfect.
Another app at the higher end of the price spectrum is Talking English Chinese Dictionary by HNHsoft, which costs $49.99. This good quality app is essentially a dictionary for translating individual words, though you can select common phrases associated with individual words. A Blackberry edition is also available.
It's not an app, but Google Translate is also helpful for translating phrases from English to Chinese. However, you will need internet access and it is not clear if Google Translate will be available in China in future, given Google's recent squabbles with the government.
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