Phrasebooks Lose Out to Smartphones
The rise of smartphone translation apps leads to the death of the phrasebook.
19:09 12 August 2018
The phrasebook, which was once considered a staple of any holiday packing list, is now becoming a thing of a past due to the rise of smartphone translation apps.
Based on a research conducted by the British Council, over 60per cent of 16 and 34-year-olds are now using smartphone apps to help understand the local language. However, one in five respondents has reported that an inaccurate translation on their phone has led to misunderstanding while on holiday.
Vicky Gough, schools adviser at the British Council, said: “It’s fantastic that so many of us are ready to give foreign languages a go to make the most of our holidays, and smartphone technology can be a great first step in getting directions and finding out basic information.
“However, this technology has its limits and can’t replicate the linguistic and cultural nuances of human conversation. In fact, as our survey shows, it can potentially lead to a whole new level of confusion with phrases lost in translation.”
She added: “Nobody wants to be stuck staring at their phone screen all holiday, so learning a few phrases in advance is a good investment.”