Lonely Planet Phrasebooks apps

Lonely Planet Phrasebook apps for iPhone

Translator app reviews
World Nomads
24/7 tutor (free)
Cool Gorilla (99¢)
Word Roll (99¢)
Odyssey ($9.99)
Lonely Planet ($9.99)

Cost: $9.99 Lonely Planet Publications Pty Ltd

Platforms: iPhone, Android, Nokia (though not all languages available on all devices).

Languages: 16: French, Italian, German, Portuguese, Czech, Arabic, Polish, Greek, Turkish, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Korean, Thai, and Swahili.

Usability: LP provides an iPhone version of a classic travel phrasebook, each featuring more than 600 phrases, and does so for languages most competitors ignore, like Turkish, Vietnamese, and Swahili.

This being Lonely Planet—and therefore hip—the apps include all sort of sentences overlooked by stodgier, traditional phrase books, such as "I'm looking for a gay venue," "Do you have vegetarian food," and "I'd like a SIM card for your network."

Frustrations: They could have included far more for the money. (LP print phrasebooks are far more in-depth.)

Also, there are some tech problems: When you tap a phrase, you see the translation quickly, but there's an odd lag before you hear the audio clip.

The search feature is woefully bloody-minded, featuring only phrases, not words or even synonyms. If you type "bathroom" in the search field, it finds nothing. Type "toilet," however, and you get five relevant —and terribly useful—phrases.

Frankly, you can get nearly the same quality with Coolgorilla at one-tenth the price, so LP is probably most useful for languages Coolgorilla misses.

Download: Lonely Planet Publications Pty Ltd

Details: www.lonelyplanet.com/mobile

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This article was by Reid Bramblett and last updated in April 2011.
All information was accurate at the time.

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Copyright © 1998–2013 by Reid Bramblett. Author: Reid Bramblett.