Saturday, January 26, 2013

I {Heart} Technology

I have mentioned before that I have a lot of ELL students in my class.  I think the average over the past five years has probably been about 17 out of 22 students who speak another language at home.  Some home languages include: Spanish, Vietnamese, Polish, Arabic, Cape Verdean Creole and Haitian Creole.  I LOVE all of this linguistic diversity, but sometimes it can pose a huge problem: communicating with parents.  

We have a bunch of staff who are fluent in Spanish (I speak baby kindergarten level Spanish), but nobody who speaks any of these other languages.  Usually I can talk one of my bilingual parents into translating, but sometimes something pops up, no one is around to translate and it is SO hard to communicate!  How do you say "Can you please talk with your daughter about how she is constantly poking people during morning meeting?" or "Little Johnny scraped his knee when he was trying to scale the fence during recess" or my favorite, "She had an accident.  Ummm... pee pee?  Poo poo?"  I have become pretty good at charades :)

I was messing around on my phone this morning and found a magical new app... Google Translate!  I use this on my computer from time to time, but I had no idea they had an app!  I downloaded it and can't stop playing with it.

Without further ado, here is your crash course in the Google Translate app:


 1. Choose the language you want to translate from {English} and to {in this case I chose Vietnamese}
2.  Type in what you would like to say.
3. Check out your awesome new translation!  The little speaker/volume looking button on the left will even speak the translation for you (although to be honest this one sounded more like robot than Vietnamese to my English dominant ears).

Easy, right?

And here are some cool features that this app has.  Did I mention that it's free?  I refuse to pay for apps.
1.  This little button copies the text so you could paste it into an email, text or wherever your heart desires.
2.  This one sends your translated text directly to wherever you choose (Facebook, text, email, search engine, etc).
3.  This makes the translated text full screen so it's much easier to read.
4. Voice to text.  This is my favorite thing about my phone!
5.  Handwriting to text.
6. Take a picture of some text and it will translate it for you.  WHAT?!  So cool.

Last but not least here is the dropdown menu that gives you the all of the language possibilities.  I didn't count, but I'm pretty sure it translates into approximately eleventy billion languages (including Gujarati... what the heck is that?)

Wouldn't this app also be awesome if you were traveling?  I love it and can't wait until next time I need to translate something.  

Also, in case you are wondering I have a Samsung Galaxy SIII, but I'm sure that most smartphones can access this app.

1 comment:

Miss Kindergarten said...

Oh my goodness, I need this!!!