Translation by Siri

Siri may have difficulty understanding English when it is spoken in a Scottish accent, but Apple’s virtual personal assistant now has another trick up her sleeve: translation.

A team of developers recently introduced an app called Lingual, which turns Siri into your own personal translator, allowing your iPhone to translate spoken words and phrases into 30 different languages. All you have to do is ask Siri “How do you say “_____” in “_____?” and a translation will appear on your screen in the language of your choice.

Before you venture off to another country with your iPhone in hand, though, there are a few drawbacks to consider. The first, as reported by The Verge, is the simple fact that Lingual’s translation capabilities are far from perfect.

“We installed the tweak and can report that it works flawlessly, quickly pulling in results using Microsoft’s Bing Translate API as a backend. Its only limitation is that backend, which isn’t as strong as Google’s offering, and regularly fails to correctly translate phrases.”

Poor translation is a pretty big limitation, isn’t it? Google Translate has issues enough, so you may want to think twice before relying on this app as your sole means of communication.

Another potential issue: in order to use Lingual, you must jailbreak your iPhone if you haven’t done so already. Not that big of a deal, but it does make installation a bit more complicated than simply firing up the app store and downloading it.

Finally, if you are travelling, you may be charged extra for using data while roaming. That means that you may end up paying an arm and a leg for Lingual’s translation services when you get back home – not a good way to end a vacation! It’s not as flashy, but you might be better served by downloading a translation application that is stored on your phone and doesn’t require access to your carrier’s data network.

3 replies
  1. Translation Services
    Translation Services says:

    Personal i think many feel there is a off the shelve price which could only be done as you mentioned if it was auto generated which will give a moderate to inaccurate results. Like the example of the Google app. Great post.

    Reply
  2. Native Translation Services
    Native Translation Services says:

    It`s clear that technology will take part of the translation sector. We`ve seen a lot of start-up companies, and not only who compete on the highest level for clients and customers. It will continue and we can only benefit from that.

    Reply
  3. translation services
    translation services says:

    The Microsoft equivalent of Siri is better, in fact it is the main technology used in the new Skype translator app.

    Reply

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