Teaching English Abroad? These language learning apps can be a life saver!
Going overseas to teach English is an exciting experience, but many who embark on this opportunity aren’t familiar with the local language in the area they plan to teach. In the classroom, it’s not usually a problem as your employer will most likely tell you that they only want you to speak English to your students in order to totally immerse them in an English-only environment.
Of course, it’s a different story when you’re outside of the classroom and want to make friends with locals, utilize public transportation or order dinner in a restaurant. Having an app to turn to for help can be an important resource that will help you make the most of your experience as well as to smooth out any bumps that might occur while you’re there. If you’re concerned about the cost of international data usage, consider that services like T-mobile offer unlimited international data so that you can take the app with you without worrying about huge bills when you return home.
Phrasebook is a very helpful app available for both Android and iOS, perhaps almost as good as having your own personal interpreter along with you. This free app helps you to learn numerous languages, like French, Korean, Japanese, Italian, Spanish and German, allowing you to practice your speaking and listening skills. It can also help you break the language barrier, allowing you to ask the multilingual parrot to speak on your behalf by playing the authentic pronunciation of a particular phrase. Users can also search for phrases and vocabulary terms by keyword as well as storing and managing commonly used phrases.
This easy-to-use app is ideal for iPhone users with an attractive interface that serves as a pocket interpreter allowing you to have conversations in 41 different languages, include Greek, Chinese and Italian for just $1.99. You can unlock more languages and even specific dialects for an extra fee available via in-app purchases.
SayHi removes the need to constantly look up words and phrases for basic communication, allowing users to speak in their fluent language while it repeats what you said in the language of your choice. It’s currently available for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch owners.
iTranslate is one of the most highly rated language apps, acclaimed for its speed as well as its accuracy. Powered by Google and available for iOS as well as Android, this free app covers more than 80 language and includes a dictionary as well as text-to-speech and Romanization (which helps to convert unfamiliar characters into English letters). Voice recognition is available for $3 via an in-app purchase. The layout is clear and very easy to use, particularly for iPhone owners.
iVoice supports translation in 80 languages including Arabic, Catalan, Ukrainian, Thai and Turkish. It works as a two-sided translation app, allowing users to choose their native language and the language of their destination, and then speak what they’d like to translate. The app will audibly translate it for you in the target language. If you’re trying to communicate with someone, the person you’re conversing with can then speak back and allow iVoice to dictate the response in your native language. It lays out conversations in a more useable, conversation-like manner, making it easy for both parties to use and understand. Download it for iOS or Android for just 99 cents.