Monday, November 10, 2014

going to China? Don't leave home without this

I'm traveling in Taiwan for a couple of weeks and would be lost in translation without an app created by the good folks at Pleco. It lets me hold up the phone to Chinese characters on signs, on menus, on doors and suddenly what is inscrutable becomes clear. The app is multifunctioned and also features a handy live dictionary. Type in what you're trying to say and it appears in Chinese, so you can simply hold up your phone and be understood. I found this essential to renting a car which was accomplished only because the clerk and I could communicate by handing our iPhones to each other. Pleco downloadable from App store. Nope, this isn't a paid post. Just a hat tip from a grateful user in transit.


Lutheranliar said...

Amazing! Are you back? Did it work? The inscrutability of signs in not only other languages, but other alphabets (are Chinese characters called 'alphabets'?) has always been a deal-breaker, psychologically, for me to travel to a whole host of countries. If I got this app, I might have to modify my Unbucket List.

Lutheranliar said...

Amazing. If I got this app, I might have to rewrite my Unbucket List (!) I have eliminated whole sections of the world from my 'to-see' list because I am daunted by dealing with languages that have different alphabets (are Chinese characters considered an 'alphabet'?) Anyway, let us know how the app worked out!

Ad Broad, oldest working writer in advertising said...

Ha, but your Unbucket List may have to stay intact, Alice. Discovered that the app can read only one character at a time, so having a (sort of) working knowledge of Mandarin helps. Yes, Chinese characters count as alphabet, but instead of 26 letters, there's 50,000. Which is why Pleco comes in so handy!