Appledystopia: Independent Technology News

SayHi Translate

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Your spoken words are translated and spoken in the other language shown at the bottom of the screen. The original and translated text are logged on the screen. You can tap on each part of the logged conversation to replay, add to favorites, share, or delete.

Speech recognition may not always be an option. It might not work well in a noisy environment. SayHi Translate allows keyboard input to produce a spoken and text translation.

Internet connectivity is necessary for SayHi Translate to work properly. Without a connection, you can only translate text. It will neither recognize speech nor speak a typed translation. Either wi-fi or your iPhone or iPad’s data plan will work.

From the settings menu, you can clear the conversation log, set the app to detect the end of speech, or activate recording sounds. Detecting the end of speech works well, but is probably not a good idea in a noisy location. Activating recording sounds turns on audible prompts to indicate when SayHi Translate is taking speech input and when it has finished.

SayHi Translate settings

Settings specific to a language are accessed from the language buttons at the top of the screen. From here, you can change the speed and gender of the selected language. I found that slowing the voice speed creates some distortion. The middle setting, which has no distortion, seems a bit too fast.

SayHi Translate language settings

SayHi Translate features global options at the top of the screen. You can share selected parts of the logged conversation by tapping the share button on the top menu. This feature allows you to select parts of the conversation to copy or share via email or sms. The favorites option allows you to quickly replay any phrases you have saved. The speaker icon enables you to adjust the volume and toggle AirPlay.

I tried SayHi with AirPlay on my iPad and it didn’t work at first. I had to turn AirPlay on from the main iPad control (double tap home to display recently used apps and swipe right until you see it). Then it forced screen mirroring on, and would only work in that mode. Despite this odd behavior, SayHi’s AirPlay support works well enough to beam the audio and video to my Apple TV.

One feature on my wish list for a future version — translate text from a photo. This would be very useful when travelling. If you see a sign that you don’t understand, simply snap a photo of it, and SayHi would recognize the text and translate it.

SayHi Translate is simply amazing. Despite a few minor flaws, the app works well and is useful for travellers or those who live in multicultural societies. At the low price of 99 cents, everyone should have this app. SayHi Translate is an exceptional value and has exceeded my expectations.

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