Working With Languages On The iPad

Languages are not top of mind for everyone, but for those that travel for work or pleasuer the iPad can be a nice tool to help us along the way.

There are many ‘language’ programs that do little more than give a list of words and the translation. Usually not robust enough to be a dictionary and very few people can actually learn the language that way.

Two items you may not ‘want to leave the house’ without. Ultralingua, Inc. offers a true translation dictionary and EuroTalk Ltd offers a real method to learn languages. Both have a variety of languages available and they work on both the iPhone and iPad with user interfaces specialized for each.

EuroTalk’s uTalk HD apps follow the path that a well known (read: expensive) uses to teach languages. There is the usual list of words and the direct translation words in your selected language. Then, there are word ‘games’ that help a person learn the chosen language. In the Easy mode, you are given a series of pictures while the program says what they are, then it says one of them for you to select that one. The more advanced game shows more pictures, a phrase is said and you deduce which is correct. Here are views from the Italian version:

The language dictionary that has proven to offer the largest list of words, features and works offline is by Ultralingua – which happens offer a nice dictionary / thesaurus if your working with just english. For the variety of languages offered, the app goes way beyond a simple translation app as it offers dictionary level definitions too –
• Over 45,000 headwords and 125,000 definitions
• Slang, technical language, and regional differences in spelling and usage
• Thousands of biographic and geographic entries, as well as etymologies (root word histories)
• Hundreds of usage notes about troublesome constructions
• A number tool that instantly converts numerals into Italian and English text
• Language swapper button to switch from Italian-English to English-Italian at any time
• Smart search results in case you misspell or mistype
• Search-as-you-type displays words and narrows your selection as you type
• Rotate to either landscape or portrait orientation
• Tap the history button to view the 50 most recent dictionary definitions, verb conjugations, and more in one place. Sort the list alphabetically or by date, and choose to clear the list completely or delete one entry at a time.

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