If you’re looking for a translation app to travel with you, there’s no shortage of contenders. Translation apps are easier to use than a clunky phrasebook, and many of them can do cool things like translate text from pictures and translate text to speech. However, the vast majority (if not all) of these apps have two main drawbacks:
- They require that you own a smartphone.
- Their translations are automatic and not 100% accurate.
For example, check out this amusing (but confusing) translation from celebrated translation app Word Lens, purchased by Google back in May:
— Felicia Day (@feliciaday) June 29, 2014
What are they doing to that poor mozzarella?
Translation errors like that are good for a laugh, but in more serious situations you might want something a little bit more accurate. Also, not everyone owns a smartphone, oddly enough. Muuzii is a new translation tool for all mobile phones (not just smartphones) that promises more accurate results because it does not exclusively rely on machine translation.
With Muuzii, users send the text they need translated over SMS. Muuzii automatically translates it, then has a professional translator review the translation to ensure that it is accurate. According to Venturebeat, they’ll not only make sure the translation is accurate, but also fix any awkwardness or ambiguity:
“Each team member makes sure that the response is not only accurate, but also the best way to get your message across. If the human translators think there might be a better way to phrase it, they’ll train the database to choose their preferred option next time it encounters a similar request.
So, when you find yourself in a sticky linguistic situation, you won’t deal with the awkwardness that the limitations of app technology create.”
Then, the service texts your translation right back to you.
The main drawback is that the service is only available in English and Chinese, as a subscription for American AT & T customers.
Would you use something like Muuzii? Let us know in the comments!