GeoVisions Blog

Participant Stories

THE Must Have Travel Abroad App

Posted by Randy LeGrant | Jul 21, 2014 10:13:00 AM

I’m kind of at the end of a 31-day trip abroad. I’m visiting GeoVisions partners and participants in Spain, Italy and France. I have 7 more days ahead of me … the rest of Italy and Northern France. It has been a great use of my time. I have talked to our Au Pairs in Spain and Italy. Our program, Tutor English To A Family in Spain (and in Italy), have great people on the program now and I’m sure I’ll be equally impressed when I get to France and meet partners and participants there. Tomorrow I’m having lunch with our counselors at the Day Camp Counselor In Italy program in Porto San Elpidio.

It is difficult to deal with so many languages. Just when you get the hang of a language, you move countries. I’ve had the most fun with Italian. And up until today, when I needed an app for some translation, I used iTranslate, which is a FREE app easily attainable on the iTunes App Store. Press the app button, choose the language you need translated and type in something. You can also listen to how to pronounce your new phrase.

For years this app has been a staple of my travels.

But let’s face it … typing in words or phrases from a menu can be time consuming. When I went to my local laundromat to do 2 machine loads of laundry … I was faced with several signs, all in Italian. And in the area where I’m living, the menus are in Italian, while in Rome there were English menus. If you have to type in wording from a sign or from a menu … time has been wasted.

Enter my new find, Word Lens. Again, a Free download from the iTunes App Store. Simply press the app button and hold it in front of a sign. What you will see is a screen that looks like you’re taking a photo (it uses the camera app) but you’ll see the words change into the language you want … in my case, English.

The app has been around for a while and is also available for Android. It’s only new to me. But it’s so handy, I wanted to let you know just in case I’m not the only one wandering around in the translation dark.

Below you will see a screen shot (from the iTunes site) of a sign in German and what the screen looks like when you point your phone at the screen.

Enjoy the app. And if you have other apps our participants should consider, please let us know in the comments section. We always like to pass along information that can be used abroad.

Written by Randy LeGrant

Randy is the Executive Director of the GeoVisions Foundation. He has spent the last 44 years managing organizations that send people abroad on cultural and educational exchanges.

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