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For Guys

Translation apps: Our tips

Lost in translation 

One of the best perks about living as Singapore means plenty of short getaways to nearby Southeast Asian countries but as we all know, language may a challenge.

Whether you’re depending on Google Translate, iSpeak, Jibbigo or any other translation app on your smartphone to help you communicate in a foreign country, these useful tips will make the process as painless as possible.

1. Use simple sentences

Avoid using complicated sentences or big words that the translation app might misinterpret. Instead of typing “Can you hold my luggage for a while?”, try “Can I leave my luggage here for one hour?”

2. Save important phrases

There are only so many times you can type “Can you tell me where is the nearest bathroom?” before you run out of patience. Save key phrases that you might use repeatedly so you can just flash it with the touch of a button.

3. Typing is better than talking

In theory, voice recognition function on translation apps is there to make your life easier. In reality, it usually wrongly (or doesn’t) registers fluctuation in accents and dialects, especially in tonal languages such as Mandarin. Unless you are looking for a good laugh, stick to typing.

4. Test out the app

Often, people download a translation app at the last minute, jet off and have no clue whatsoever how to use it when required. Test out the app at home and get familiar with it; double bonus if you have a friend who speaks the language so you can check if the translation is correct.

Feeling inspired to travel but no idea where to go? For a leisure holiday, try diving at these amazing dive spots in Asia. Those up for a bit of adventure, we’ve seeked out the less-travelled roads in Myanmar for you and your mates.

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