Developer: Bad Dog Applications, Inc.
Price: $1.99 Download on the App Store
AppCraver reviewed translation app Talking Phrasebooks recently, so when Alan Cook from Bad Dog Apps sent us a free test version of BdTranslator, another translation app, I thought we'd take a look at it and compare it to Talking Phrasebooks.
BdTranslator allows for translation of phrases in 16 languages to any of those other languages and features saved translations of 250 common phrases. The only language I speak other than English is Spanish (and badly) - the app seemed to accurately translate to Spanish anything that I entered in English.
The app has some UI issues. For example, the default had the "language in" as Spanish and the language out as English. When I tried to set the language in as English, it told me the langugage in and language out couldn't be the same. To reverse the two, you need to set either one to a third language before switching each to the language of choice.
Another problem arises when using the common phrases section. When you select a common phrase, it sends you to the translation screen. As far as I could see, there is no quick way to return to the common phrases section immediately from the translation screen. If you need to use the common phrases section several times in a row (as I imagine would generally be the case if you were engaged in a conversation with someone in a foreign language), having to return to the main screen, click on the favorites section, then click on the subfolder with the phrases you're looking for could get very tedious quickly.
A last quibble - unless I'm missing it, there is no sound button allowing you to hear the phrases spoken aloud. This is a major drawback compared to the Talking Phrasebooks series.
At $4.99 BdTranslator is more expensive than the Talking Phrasebook apps, though BdTranslator has the advantage of packing 16 languages into one package, and allows you to enter your own phrases. Some reviewers have complained that since the app requires a WiFi or 3G connection, if you're using the app abroad you may run up some nasty roaming charges. Bad Dog Applications claims that roaming costs are minimal as very little data is sent in each translation. As I have not used BdTranslator abroad nor checked my plan to see what the foreign roaming charges are, I can't speak to this either way, but is something any buyer of the app should consider prior to purchase.
All-in-all, BdTranslator is another solid entry in the increasingly-crowded iPhone translator app space.