The ‘Appy Traveller

The 'Appy Traveller

A few weeks ago I went to France for  the Twinning weekend. Devizes is twinned with two towns, Waiblingen in Germany and Mayenne in France. Apart from a great fun weekend, it also means work for me as I translate when the German delegates speak at the conference. I don’t always remember or even know every word, when I translate German text, so a dictionary is a must and if the weekend is in France I also need a French dictionary as my French  isn’t that good.

Until recently that meant, deciding on which dictionaries to take, how much space was in the suitcase, do I need the big dictionary or only the small one, etc …

That is, until I got myself a decent smartphone and came across apps …

So now I only take my phone with me and all information I need is at my fingertips.

And my favourite apps?
They are –

  • Linguee  (update April 2016: this is a new improved app)

I have used the Linguee website  for quite a few years now and only recently found the app (actually, it was pointed out to me by a student). The app works similar to the website. You search for a word or phrase and the dictionary gives you the translations. If you’re online when you’re searching, you get sample sentences, too, but, in case there is no internet access, you still get the basic dictionary – very useful when abroad!

And it’s free!




Leo is my favourite online dictionary and I am very pleased to have it on my phone. The only bad news is, you can’t use it while offline, but for a free app it’s great!







The dictionary is another useful online dictionary which is also available as a smartphone app (free or paid version). Vocabulary can be downloaded  and can be used offline as well. I have downloaded the French and German dictionary but other languages are also available.






And finally, google translate. We have probably all seen some of google translate’s weird and wonderful translations, but for a quick translation of the odd one or two words, this app is also invaluable, especially as it covers so many different languages.

All these apps are available for Androids and iPhones and I’m so pleased I’ve found them, but maybe you have found some even better ones. If you have, please let me know and I’ll check them out.

However, this has left me with one dilemma now: what do I do with all this extra space in my luggage when travelling?
Oh yes, it means I can do more shopping – yay 😆



6 thoughts on “The ‘Appy Traveller”

  1. Thanks for sharing that Angelika – I have a job coming up in September when I will be (trying to!) do simultaneous translation English-French-English … the French equivalents to these apps will come in very handy for when I get stuck!!

  2. What a great round up – thanks. Apps wouldn’t be enough to get me by on the hop, though, I don’t think. I’m hopeless at learning languages and still in complete awe of your multilingualism.

    • If you don’t know the language they wouldn’t help much in holding a conversation, but they could come in useful if you desperately need to understand a word, maybe on a menu card, or if you need to be able to tell a doctor what’s wrong. It’s so much quicker just to type the word and show them the app than to try and find it in a dictionary!
      Oh, and EVERYBODY can learn a language 😉


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