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Tuesday, December 22, 2009
iPhonetunes review: Jibbigo Speech Translator English Spanish
iPhonetunes review: Jibbigo Speech Translator English Spanish

Translation and interpretation are professions in which there is much professional encroachment, people without proper training jump into the market without any shame. As if this wasn’t enough, this group has a new competitor, an iPhone application called Jibbigo.

On Jibbigo’s website you can read that the app acts “much like a personal human interpreter would”. In this review, we will check if it’s true.

Booking.com

It’s highly recommended to use Jibbigo with an iPhone 3G S. The tests I’ve done with a 2G and 3G, were unsatisfactory.

The application uses Text-To-Speech technology from SVOX.

The interpreter

Appearance: 1.5

As you’ll see in the images throughout this review, the graphics and visual design of the interface isn’t the strongest point of this application. Nothing within Jibbigo is visually appealing. The whole design is extremely simple, it seems they have left this area of development for future updates, I hope I’m right.

Inside the booth…

Functionality : 4.0

When you launch Jibbigo for the first time, you’ll see a window with a message that recommends you to watch an introduction video. After accepting or rejecting the suggestion, Jibbigo, will display the main screen, the languages selection. At the moment there are only two languages and three options available: English (two versions, international and United States) to Spanish and Spanish-English.

At the top right corner of the screen, you can see three icons for the following functions:

• The hand will allow us to send information or feedback to Jibbigo developers when we are not satisfied with the suggested translation.
• The book is a Spanish-English bilingual dictionary.

• The wheels: access to configuration options, we are given the following options:

1. The “Names” button allows you to introduce in the database of the application names and surnames. By clicking the button you’ll see a screen to enter the name, surname and / or a geographic spot (city, sea, mountains, etc). The “+” allows you to add a name stored in the iPhone Contacts. After saving the name, you’ll have the option to write how to pronounce it; after clicking the “Edit” button, a new screen will be show (left image) and you’ll see the names entered, placed in four bars (two per language) .If you click inside them, specifically in “pronounced as” you can write how to pronounce and then hear the result after pressing the “Play” button.

2. The “Log” button gives access to previous translations. We may edit or delete them.
3. The “About” button displays the credit application.

If you look at the left image above, you’ll see a message that indicates that there are more configuration functions in the “Settings” menu of the iPhone. Entering this menu, you’ll see Jibbigo icon. Settings options are:

1. “Adaptation”:?
2. Push-and-Hold “: if enabled, you must hold the record button while recording.
3. “Backtranslation” allows us to activate or deactivate the “retour” (in the language of interpreters, interpretation in both senses English -> Spanish, Spanish -> English).
4. “Use internal speaker”: if enabled, use the iPhone’s speaker.

You also have an “Accuracy” slider that changes the speed-accuracy relationship:  A more accurate translation, the lower the data processing speed.

The result ...

Usability: 4.5

The handling of the application is simple: you just press the red record button and it launches into talking mode. After the recording, the process of translating starts. Once it’s finished, it’ll show the translated text and a computerized female voice will read it.

The functioning of the implementation is quite good. It’s best to talk normally while you record, it’s not necessary to over pronnounce or speak the words slowly. In most cases the translations are acceptable, although, like the online translators, there are often failures with verb tenses. When recording is finished, you’re shown the text recognized by the app and the correction proposed by the application.

If the application doesn’t recognize a word, it will replace it by a beep (sound) and a “beep” writing.

Finally, if we don’t want to talk, we can do everything described above but writing the text on the screen.

Conclusion

Value: 1.5

In short, we can say that Jibbigo is like having an online translator on the iPhone, which speaks and doesn’t require an Internet connection.

Such translators works fine with small and simple texts/speeches, but when faced with longer and more elaborate and time-consuming texts/speeches, it never offers an adequate translation and, what is worse, the result is “artificial”. You can tell a mile away when a text is translated by a machine, it’s not natural and, as I said above, has serious problems with verb conjugation and, occasionally, grammatical agreement. Another detail, for a retail price of almost $25, it could have implemented a real voice and not a synthesized voice.

Jibbigo may help a tourist or traveler who does not speak languages because, although the translation is not always accurate, in most cases means the main idea of the message. If you are looking for a trustworthy translation, better hiring a translator/interpreter or study more.

I don’t want any misunderstandings with the rating. The application is well implemented, works well and has enough options, but there is an underlying issue, the translation software (in general, not just Jibbigo) has a lot to improve. Translating and interpreting, is not just translate words, it also involves providing style to the translated text and most importantly, respect the rules of spelling, grammar and syntax. Today, there is no program that can do this.

TOTAL: 2.875 of a total of 5.

DANIEL FERNÁNDEZ

NOTE: The software has been provided by Jibbigo.


It’s highly recommended to use Jibbigo with an iPhone 3G S. The tests I’ve done with a 2G and 3G, were unsatisfactory.

The application uses Text-To-Speech technology from SVOX.

The interpreter

Appearance: 1.5

As you’ll see in the images throughout this review, the graphics and visual design of the interface isn’t the strongest point of this application. Nothing within Jibbigo is visually appealing. The whole design is extremely simple, it seems they have left this area of development for future updates, I hope I’m right.

Inside the booth…

Functionality : 4.0

When you launch Jibbigo for the first time, you’ll see a window with a message that recommends you to watch an introduction video. After accepting or rejecting the suggestion, Jibbigo, will display the main screen, the languages selection. At the moment there are only two languages and three options available: English (two versions, international and United States) to Spanish and Spanish-English.

At the top right corner of the screen, you can see three icons for the following functions:

• The hand will allow us to send information or feedback to Jibbigo developers when we are not satisfied with the suggested translation.
• The book is a Spanish-English bilingual dictionary.

• The wheels: access to configuration options, we are given the following options:

1. The “Names” button allows you to introduce in the database of the application names and surnames. By clicking the button you’ll see a screen to enter the name, surname and / or a geographic spot (city, sea, mountains, etc). The “+” allows you to add a name stored in the iPhone Contacts. After saving the name, you’ll have the option to write how to pronounce it; after clicking the “Edit” button, a new screen will be show (left image) and you’ll see the names entered, placed in four bars (two per language) .If you click inside them, specifically in “pronounced as” you can write how to pronounce and then hear the result after pressing the “Play” button.

2. The “Log” button gives access to previous translations. We may edit or delete them.
3. The “About” button displays the credit application.

If you look at the left image above, you’ll see a message that indicates that there are more configuration functions in the “Settings” menu of the iPhone. Entering this menu, you’ll see Jibbigo icon. Settings options are:

1. “Adaptation”:?
2. Push-and-Hold “: if enabled, you must hold the record button while recording.
3. “Backtranslation” allows us to activate or deactivate the “retour” (in the language of interpreters, interpretation in both senses English -> Spanish, Spanish -> English).
4. “Use internal speaker”: if enabled, use the iPhone’s speaker.

You also have an “Accuracy” slider that changes the speed-accuracy relationship:  A more accurate translation, the lower the data processing speed.

The result ...

Usability: 4.5

The handling of the application is simple: you just press the red record button and it launches into talking mode. After the recording, the process of translating starts. Once it’s finished, it’ll show the translated text and a computerized female voice will read it.

The functioning of the implementation is quite good. It’s best to talk normally while you record, it’s not necessary to over pronnounce or speak the words slowly. In most cases the translations are acceptable, although, like the online translators, there are often failures with verb tenses. When recording is finished, you’re shown the text recognized by the app and the correction proposed by the application.

If the application doesn’t recognize a word, it will replace it by a beep (sound) and a “beep” writing.

Finally, if we don’t want to talk, we can do everything described above but writing the text on the screen.

Conclusion

Value: 1.5

In short, we can say that Jibbigo is like having an online translator on the iPhone, which speaks and doesn’t require an Internet connection.

Such translators works fine with small and simple texts/speeches, but when faced with longer and more elaborate and time-consuming texts/speeches, it never offers an adequate translation and, what is worse, the result is “artificial”. You can tell a mile away when a text is translated by a machine, it’s not natural and, as I said above, has serious problems with verb conjugation and, occasionally, grammatical agreement. Another detail, for a retail price of almost $25, it could have implemented a real voice and not a synthesized voice.

Jibbigo may help a tourist or traveler who does not speak languages because, although the translation is not always accurate, in most cases means the main idea of the message. If you are looking for a trustworthy translation, better hiring a translator/interpreter or study more.

I don’t want any misunderstandings with the rating. The application is well implemented, works well and has enough options, but there is an underlying issue, the translation software (in general, not just Jibbigo) has a lot to improve. Translating and interpreting, is not just translate words, it also involves providing style to the translated text and most importantly, respect the rules of spelling, grammar and syntax. Today, there is no program that can do this.

TOTAL: 2.875 of a total of 5.

DANIEL FERNÁNDEZ

NOTE: The software has been provided by Jibbigo.

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