Review: Talking Spanish Phrasebook
This past weekend we decided to go to Mexico (we live 20 minutes from the border) and I wanted to find an helpful phrase book to use. The Talking Spanish Phrasebook caught my eye because of the title, as well as the fact that it was free.
The phrase book is divided into sections of interest - including sections like essentials, shopping, food and drink, and medical. Each section has a series of phrases contained within. Selecting a phrase will take you to a translation screen, where you have the english phrase at the top, and the spanish phrase at the bottom.
There is no pronounciation guide, but that is somewhat moot because you can hit the speaker button and hear the spanish phrase spoken. Miss part of it? Simply hit the speaker icon again to repeat the phrase.
Most of the phrases included are relatively short and sweet, so they are very easy to pick up. In addition, it push came to shove, you could easilly just have the person with whom you are trying to communication listen to the phrase coming from your iPhone.
The phrase book seems to contain many essential phrases, including some important medical ones (where is the nearest hospital, I am allergic to..., etc) and some useful ones for shopping and eating. One of my favorite shopping ones was "That's too expensive" - I need to use that one more often. They even had phrases for small talk, socializing (although it is spelled with the British "socialising") and romance!
Using this phrase book, I could see getting by quite easily in a spanish speaking country. There is no search function, so you will just have to try your best guess. In addition, there is no translate or dictionary function - so you can look for a specific word, or translate a word you read from spanish to english.
But this isn't designed to be a comprehensive travel companion. This is just a quick and dirty phrase book to help you out. And in that sense, it does it's job perfectly.
Pros: Essential phrases are easy to hear and learn
Cons: No robust feature set (dictionary, currency converter, etc), can sometimes take a little time finding the correct phrase
All in all, if you want a quick and easy phrase book that can help you with pronounciation and a few essential phrases, look no farther than this application. If you want something more robuse to help you with all features of travel, look elsewhere. But for a free application, this is pretty impressive. Five out of five stars.