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StCirq May 3rd, 2017 01:44 PM

I think any time invested in trying to learn how to use a really silly translation app would far better be used learning some of the language you need to use.

rs899 May 3rd, 2017 01:47 PM

It was said upthread, but needs repeating. Always, always, start any conversation with strangers in France with "Bonjour Madame". Then you can try "Parlez-vous Anglais?" ...and go from there...

It is not something we would think of doing here, but is expected there unless you want to be completely ignored.

Andrew May 3rd, 2017 01:50 PM

I found the "silly translation app" extremely helpful last year visiting six countries with six different languages over 2.5 weeks. I really didn't feel like taking the time to try to learn bits of all six languages then try to keep them straight.

rs899 May 3rd, 2017 02:25 PM

I think Google Translate is a very useful app, but sticking a phone in front of a strange Frenchman is not likely to produce the desired effect. It is best used privately, in any way you find it helpful to you.

Andrew May 3rd, 2017 03:43 PM

I wouldn't find it all that useful used privately. :-)

Again, it truly depends on the circumstances. Using the app at a hotel or restaurant where I'm just trying to communicate? Very useful. Those people, in my experience, get frustrated too in trying to communicate; something that makes it easier probably makes their life and job easier, too.

Walking through the park and trying to strike up conversations with random locals using the app? Probably not something I'd dream of doing, maybe not even if I spoke the language. But I don't see that as some sort of limitation of the app.

fuzzbucket May 3rd, 2017 09:57 PM

If you simply open your conversations with "Bonjour Madame (or Monsieur)", you will find that many people speak English, especially waiters, shopkeepers, doctors, pharmacists...
They will recognize that you are not a native speaker and will normally help you out.
Don't touch any merchandise unless you are invited to do so - especially important with outdoor markets and food.
You should always end your conversations with "Merci Madame (or Monsieur), au revoir."

StCirq May 4th, 2017 12:18 AM

<<I found the "silly translation app" extremely helpful last year visiting six countries with six different languages over 2.5 weeks. I really didn't feel like taking the time to try to learn bits of all six languages then try to keep them straight.>>

You either take the time to learn a bit (or a lot) of local languages or you don't. I always do because I love learning new languages and don't find it a chore at all. But you can never expect a digital toy to manage your communications.

PegS May 4th, 2017 06:14 AM

Yes, I think it's useful to think of Google Translate as a super powerful dictionary. This isn't Star Trek and it's not a universal translator.

NewbE May 4th, 2017 06:32 AM

Oh, get off your high horse, St. Prig! In 2017, there is nothing offensive about using an app, and asking other people to use it with you.

Furthermore, you, Saint of All That Is Fatuously Superior, learned ONE language. People who don't just go to one country but several and are not retired (or, like you, under employed) don't have time to learn them all.

I'm going to take a final wild guess and say that you don't have a proper smartphone, and/or have not downloaded the "silly app", and so are just talking out of your cul, as usual.

Google Translate works a treat. Full stop.

fuzzbucket May 5th, 2017 04:15 AM

I think this last comment is really offensive, no matter to whom it is directed.

menachem May 5th, 2017 05:46 AM

NewbE, I tested that for you. Here's the result

Oh, sortez de votre cheval, St. Prig! En 2017, il n'y a rien d'offensant à propos de l'utilisation d'une application et demande à d'autres personnes de l'utiliser avec vous.

En outre, vous, Saint de Tout ce qui est généreusement supérieur, a appris UNE langue. Les gens qui ne se rendent pas dans un pays mais plusieurs et qui ne sont pas à la retraite (ou, comme vous, employés) n'ont pas le temps de les apprendre tous.

Je vais prendre une dernière estimation folle et dire que vous n'avez pas de smartphone approprié et / ou n'avez pas téléchargé la «application stupide», et vous êtes en train de parler de votre cul, comme d'habitude.

Google Translate produit un régal. Arrêt complet.

menachem May 5th, 2017 05:48 AM

pretty good!


O, ga uit je hoge paard, St. Prig! In 2017 is er niets aanstootgevend om een app te gebruiken en andere mensen te vragen om het met je te gebruiken.

Bovendien heeft u, Saint of All That Fatuously Superior, één taal geleerd. Mensen die niet alleen naar een land gaan, maar meerdere en niet met pensioen zijn (of, net als jij, in dienst) hebben geen tijd om ze allemaal te leren.

Ik ga een laatste wilde gok nemen en zeggen dat je geen goede smartphone hebt, en / of de "domme app" niet hebt gedownload, en gewoon spreekt je gewoon gewoon van je cul.

Google Translate werkt een traktatie. Punt.

menachem May 5th, 2017 05:49 AM


אָה, באַקומען אַוועק דיין הויך פערד, סט פּריג! אין 2017, עס איז גאָרנישט Offensive וועגן ניצן אַ אַפּ, און אַסקינג אנדערע מענטשן צו נוצן עס מיט איר.

דערצו, איר, סיינט פון אַלע וואָס איז פאַטואָוסלי סופּעריאָר, געלערנט איין שפּראַך. מענטשן וואס טאָן ניט נאָר גיין צו איין לאַנד אָבער עטלעכע און זענען נישט ויסגעדינט (אָדער, ווי איר, אונטער אנגעשטעלט) טאָן ניט האָבן צייַט צו לערנען זיי אַלע.

איך בין געגאנגען צו נעמען אַ לעצט ווילד טרעפן און זאָגן אַז איר טאָן ניט האָבן אַ געהעריק Smartphone, און / אָדער האָבן ניט דאַונלאָודיד די "נאַריש אַפּ", און אַזוי זענען נאָר גערעדט אויס פון דיין טאָכעס, ווי געוויינטלעך.

Google זעץ אַרבעט אַ מייַכל. פול האַלטן.

menachem May 5th, 2017 05:50 AM

Not bad at all.

rs899 May 7th, 2017 11:10 AM

I had a chance to play with this again, and I have to say it is a very useful tool. I still don't think it will take the place of knowing a few words of French, but in my case I will use it as a check on my own ignorance. I am fairly good at getting the sense of French when spoken to me (slowly) but speaking it is another matter. I think I can use it to ask the initial question and then parrot the Google translation.

SWMBO , who is a native Russian speaker tried it and was amazed at the accuracy and ease with which it works.

Andrew May 7th, 2017 02:19 PM

rs899: <i>SWMBO , who is a native Russian speaker tried it and was amazed at the accuracy and ease with which it works.</i>

I'd expect Russian to the most accurate language from Google Translate, given that Google co-founder Sergey Brin is Russian. I can easily imagine the first tests (way back before it was developed for a phone) to impress him needing to pass his muster of its accuracy in Russian.

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