iSpeak — Translation on Your iPod

Publishing company McGraw-Hill announced yesterday the release of a new language-learning utility compatible with iPods called the iSpeak. The series currently comes in 4 languages: Spanish, French, German, and Italian, and is available on CDs to be downloaded into your iPod for both audible and visual reference.

This is a pretty cool idea, but I’m not sure if it’s any easier than just buying a phrasebook. However, it is priced right — at $11 (available for pre-order at Amazon), it’s low enough to try it out on your next trip, assuming you already have an MP3 player.

Perhaps the best thing about it is the way you find phrases; if you’re familiar with iPod navigation, it’s a breeze. Just dial up the Artist to choose a theme (restaurant, perhaps) and then the Album (ordering, for example) to find “I’d like a cup of fresh fruit with my beer, please.”

Quisiera una taza de fruta fresca con mi cerveza, por favor.