iPhone app sees language barriers as opportunities

Potential language barriers have international travelers learning the basics of communication before arriving in a foreign land, just to make their way around. Knowing common terms, even with a limited vocabulary, can go a long way to fulfilling needs. But what about making friends during travel and communicating with them later at home? A new iPhone app has the answer and is available now.

Transfire XP brings the first chat and instant-messaging app with real-time, translated text. The free application features a user-friendly interface, fast message delivery, and supports over 50 languages.

Say for example, your new Argentinian friend, Javier, speaks only Spanish. With Transfire XP, you can now chat with each other in real-time, without any language barrier. Send a message wishing Javier a “Happy Birthday!”, and he will read “Feliz Cumpleaños!” on his phone. Javier then responds, “Gracias,” and you read, “Thank you.””The use of chat applications continues to grow as a replacement for text messaging. Transfire is on it’s way to becoming the gold-standard in instant messaging and translation for your iPhone. We hope Transfire will improve communication barriers on a global scale,” explained Elik Topolosky, co-founder of TNT Creations, Transfire XP’s creator.

The Transfire XP app finds contacts on your local phone or device, and supports contacts from gchat and Yahoo Messenger. Support for more chat platforms will soon be added, including Facebook, ICQ, Baidu and others.

“Transfire isn’t just meant to overcome language barriers; it’s a slick social networking app that sees barriers as opportunities,” adds Jonathan Topolosky, TNT co-founder

Flickr photo by avlxyz

Learning a new language made easy

If learning a new language is on your list of things to do, there are several products out there to help make that happen. The trick seems to be finding one that will work for each individual and some are a better fit than others.

Back in 2007 Gadling’s Jamie Rhein introduced us to Rosetta Stone, an interactive computer software program that has been proven effective even in elementary school children. Still, the price tag of $449 per language for levels 1-5 may make many think twice. Just trying German, for example, takes $179 to get started.

Babbel, the browser based language learning program also has a mobile app for learning on the go. Both versions come with a speech recognition feature to give users a real time score on their pronunciation.
Perhaps just right to help prep for that next trip, there are various scenarios to learn from like culinary, shopping, urban, etc. Users can take beginner to advanced courses in up to 11 different languages.

Pricing is unique too. Babbel charges by the month for unlimited use starting at $12.95 with no long-term commitment or barely used box staring us in the face when our efforts fail. Prices go down by pre-paying with a six-month subscription priced at $7.95 per month.

Not sure? Babbel will let users try it for free.

The Babbel program has a good track record too with over 1 million users in 2011 in 200 countries. Planning a dream trip to Sweden, I tried a sample lesson and found that Dette kan fungere for mig (this might work for me).

Flickr photo by ob1left