Prosit! Skol! Gan bei!

December 20, 2010

Let’s say you’re overseas and don’t speak the native language. Or maybe you’re in parts of Miami and don’t speak Spanish.  So what do you do when you come across a sign in another language?

There’s no need to fumble for a dictionary.  According to USA Today, just pull out your smartphone, snap and email a photo, and then with a new translation app from a company called LinguaSys, you’ll have your translation emailed back to you in moments.

In a larger sense, what’s especially notable is that this is one more example of exciting new apps that combine the increased computing power of today’s smartphones with the mobile web.  One of the perennially popular free apps on iTunes is Shazam, which uses your phone’s microphone and the mobile web to help you identify songs.

Dragon dictation is another example of the benefits of computer power and the mobile Internet.  Just speak into the receiver and your digitized voice is sent to Dragon’s servers, which “transcribe” the sound into words that are then sent back to you.

Incidentally, if you’re wondering about the title above, those are the German, Scandinavian and Chinese words for offering a toast.  Always handy to have when you’re overseas during the holidays!