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Translation French/English and English/French App for Smart Phone

Translation French/English and English/French App for Smart Phone

Mar 14th, 2011, 02:35 PM
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Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 220
Translation French/English and English/French App for Smart Phone

I want to add an App to my Android phone that would help me in Paris and Provence. I speak only about five french words. I think having something that would allow me to translate words on menus, for example, into English would be helpful. Alternatively, if there is a good App that would translate what I want to tell someone into French, that might be helpful too. I picture typing what I want to say into the phone, and then letting a waiter, for example, read the french translation. There are tons of English - French apps, it would appear - but the reviews center on students using them to do homework!!! Has anyone had good luck with one while traveling?
nancythenice is offline  
Mar 14th, 2011, 03:09 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I don't know of one, but I don't think French waiters are going to want to spend that kind of time with you, it's really asking a lot. A lot of them (especially in Paris) will speak English well enough for whatever you want to do or order that it won't be necessary. If you are going to ask a lot of complicated things or special preparations or something, it's hard to say. A lot of restaurants in central Paris have menus with English translations, also. Any automated translation tool renders rather odd results at times, especially if you don't write in very standard, correct grammar.

There are definitely apps that are just English-French dictionaries, no problem finding them. If you just want the translation of a word, that should do it. I use one all the time, but it's a real one rather than on a phone. I think that would be useful, but don't think waiters are going to want to spend their time waiting for you to type things into phones.
Christina is offline  
Mar 14th, 2011, 03:17 PM
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And then what? You hand him the Droid and he types back in French and you translate it to English? And so on, back and forth? Just because technology exists doesn't necessarily mean strangers are going to want to go out of their way to play around with it with you.

Definitely not in a waiter's job description. Or anyone else's.

I would just get a good menu translator in book or online format and use it to look up what you want to order. In the meantime, learn at least five new French words a day.
StCirq is offline  
Mar 15th, 2011, 06:59 AM
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 4
I have a Menus(e) menu translator that works on the android that I got at amazon. I've been happy with it. There is also the Passeport Gastronomique at amazon and the Marling Menu Master. THis last is a print book and not easily available but the first 2 are ebooks that work on many devices I think.
gerrit is offline  
Mar 15th, 2011, 07:14 AM
Join Date: Nov 2010
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Couldn't you just use Google Translate. I have it on my Droid X and am planning on using it on our trip to Paris in 2 weeks. I think it's most useful just to translate the menus and signs into English, not for me to burden waiters or storekeepers with my app translation.
BananaSlug is offline  
Mar 15th, 2011, 08:31 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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Google Translate! Like BananaSlug said. It's great whether you use it on your computer or smartphone, and it should integrate beautifully with the voice features of Android. (I too have an Android device, but sadly have not yet had a need to translate anything - must find an excuse to go overseas! LOL)

In addition to showing you the text translation, it will speak the translated words for you - a great way to gain more than "about five French words", but also could be helpful in a pinch if you're trying to communicate with someone who doesn't speak any English...
ggreen is offline  
Mar 15th, 2011, 08:58 AM
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 5
I've used phone translators, but prefer the book "Eating and Drinking In Paris" by Andy Herbach. It is 4" by 7.5" and thin which makes it easy to carry. It is easier to flip through pages then type in words. I couldn't recommend this book more. We were so pleased with this author we purchased his other books for other countries. For me, the newer technology was not as good.
janicebailey64 is offline  
Mar 15th, 2011, 09:24 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,421
You never know how comprehensive aps will be until you test them out in real situations.

Agree that a good menu translator is a good start, particularly for preparations you see on menus. It's a good idea to familiarize yourself ahead of time with foods/preparations you prefer, and those you don't.

For general translating, I've used UltraLingua for years and found it to be very comprehensive. In fact, most menu items I've ever had occasion to look up have been there.
djkbooks is offline  
Jun 1st, 2011, 02:11 PM
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I have just returned from my trip to France and wanted to thank those who suggested that I take the book "Eating and Drinking in Paris" by Herbach. During our 2 1/2 week trip to Paris and rural southern France, we used it nearly every day. Our group included some who considered themselves pretty good with French, but their vocabulary wasn't sufficient for the menus. The book was convenient and saved us from ordering a few oddities that would not have been welcome, such as lamb sweetbreads. Thanks for the good advice.
nancythenice is offline  

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