Help at hand for tongue-tied tourists
Tuesday May 1, 2007
British tourists who find themselves tongue-tied trying to communicate when on holiday overseas now have a new way to make themselves heard - their mobile phone.
Linguistically challenged British holidaymakers have traditionally resorted to badly remembered school-learned languages, hand gestures or, as a last resort, speaking very slowly and loudly in English when trying to make themselves understood abroad.
But a new service launching today allows them to download a phrase book onto their phone with a host of phrases which can be played to puzzled locals.
The phrasebooks - in six languages - have been produced by software group CoolGorilla for Lastminute.com and cost £3 to download.
The phrase books are being launched in French, Spanish, German, Greek, Italian and Portuguese(...).The phrasebooks contain over 250 sound files that cover everything from basic greetings and ordering food and drink, to getting around and dealing with emergencies.
When a phrase is chosen a translation pops up and a properly accented voice repeats the phrase through the mobile phone's speaker so it can be played directly to local people.
There is not, however, an option which reads out: "Help! My mobile phone has been stolen."
h?-fen translation solutions is a translation agency based in London providing high quality translation services into and from over 30 languages.