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Language Apps & Smart Phones

Hi All,
I'm strongly considering moving to Mexico.  At the moment Merida in Yucatan looks like a promising location.  I'm hoping to visit next month and look at real estate in the area and get some dental work while there.  I do not speak Spanish well and was planning to rely on my iPhone and translator apps.  Do you, or have you used one (android or iPhone) and what you liked or disliked?  Thanks!

4theloveofsun :

Hi All,
I'm strongly considering moving to Mexico.  At the moment Merida in Yucatan looks like a promising location.  I'm hoping to visit next month and look at real estate in the area and get some dental work while there.  I do not speak Spanish well and was planning to rely on my iPhone and translator apps.  Do you, or have you used one (android or iPhone) and what you liked or disliked?  Thanks!

Duolingo, tiny cards, and google translate are my go to apps. I have tried others and been very disappointed. Babble on a test run gave an incorrect translation and it is very expensive, many of them are very expensive. Duolingo is free unless you want Duolingo plus then it is very, very reasonable and available off and on line.

Haven't been impressed with the translators either although I tried many. So on my laptop and phone is google translate.

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer.  It is very much appreciated and I will check them out!

travellight :
4theloveofsun :

Hi All,
I'm strongly considering moving to Mexico.  At the moment Merida in Yucatan looks like a promising location.  I'm hoping to visit next month and look at real estate in the area and get some dental work while there.  I do not speak Spanish well and was planning to rely on my iPhone and translator apps.  Do you, or have you used one (android or iPhone) and what you liked or disliked?  Thanks!

Duolingo, tiny cards, and google translate are my go to apps. I have tried others and been very disappointed. Babble on a test run gave an incorrect translation and it is very expensive, many of them are very expensive. Duolingo is free unless you want Duolingo plus then it is very, very reasonable and available off and on line.

Haven't been impressed with the translators either although I tried many. So on my laptop and phone is google translate.

I remembered seeing your post a while back, along with another thread I can't locate.

No one in any post I've seen so far likes Babbel either, and yet...

This website now offers a free trial with them as their #1 choice for a language program:

EXPAT.COM recommends Babbel

I use Google's translator as it tends to be accurate, has a wide variety of available languages, and allows a lot of input methods, including camera.
It's proven itself many times and made life easier for me countless times.

Not perfect, none are, but easily good enough for the job and you can download languages for offline translation for times when your internet connection is rubbish.

Fred :

I use Google's translator as it tends to be accurate, has a wide variety of available languages, and allows a lot of input methods, including camera.
It's proven itself many times and made life easier for me countless times.

Not perfect, none are, but easily good enough for the job and you can download languages for offline translation for times when your internet connection is rubbish.

I totally agree Fred, though I'm talking about language learning/instruction apps (though I can see the OP was kind of lumping all together).

Maybe someday Google will update Translate to also be a teaching app.

Actually I was hoping Siri would listen and translate Spanish to English or English to Spanish :)  If she is so dog-gone smart she should be able to do that   :D   She struggles with voice recognition.  One day I said something to her that wasn't very polite -- I was frustrated with her as I had enunciated very clearly several times and she couldn't get it right.  My rather rude comment was completely understood; I have to say she has a sense of humor :)

4theloveofsun :

Actually I was hoping Siri would listen and translate Spanish to English or English to Spanish :)  If she is so dog-gone smart she should be able to do that   :D   She struggles with voice recognition.  One day I said something to her that wasn't very polite -- I was frustrated with her as I had enunciated very clearly several times and she couldn't get it right.  My rather rude comment was completely understood; I have to say she has a sense of humor :)

Google Translate has a setting to do just that in android.

You set the two languages and then instead of selecting A to B or B to A, you put it on auto, and take turns speaking. It will also give an audio readout as well as text.

Of course, both people have to speak clearly, using correct grammar without a heavy regional accent...and without much background noise.

So out in public, using it spontaneously to converse with a stranger, it may not work to well.

But my neighbor's housekeeper and I manage some elementary understanding with it.

Oh, and because it is a Google app, you either need a data/WiFi connection, OR, both languages need to be downloaded through the app for offline use.

4theloveofsun :

Actually I was hoping Siri would listen and translate Spanish to English or English to Spanish :)  If she is so dog-gone smart she should be able to do that   :D   She struggles with voice recognition.  One day I said something to her that wasn't very polite -- I was frustrated with her as I had enunciated very clearly several times and she couldn't get it right.  My rather rude comment was completely understood; I have to say she has a sense of humor :)

I have yet to find any voice recognition app that is worth dealing with. Both google translate and duo lingo give me the word, and more importantly for me the sound. The sound is often quite tricky. You can know the word but if you pronounce it poorly it will be useless. Siri and alexa are idiots, just saying.

My bilingual friend spends a lot of time yelling to Siri in Spanish about information, while I quickly look the information on google, yet he is addicted to Siri  so...

OceanBeach92107 :

Oh, and because it is a Google app, you either need a data/WiFi connection, OR, both languages need to be downloaded through the app for offline use.

t

I have at&t as my service carrier.  I inquired yesterday and was told I have unlimited data, text, and telephone calls in Mexico, Canada, and US.  Because I've been using cellular since the days you needed a cart to carry the battery :) I remember all the "dead" areas and "roaming" charges.  I wondered if most of Mexico is a dead area and that's why it's free -- the cynicism on my part never stops hahaha.  Still, a valid question I should have asked.

There are dead areas where you would expect dead areas ( tiny pueblos) miles of miles, but I pretty much have coverage except in the no wifi areas where I can't use online apps, but still have loaded apps.  Having a US phone meant I had numerous call drops and dead areas. I have a Mexican company now and have few problems. But of course AT&T moved here not long ago , so except for AT&T generated issues you should be fine.

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