Review Lingopal - Chat, Flirt & Insult in 42 Languages

Discussion in 'iTunes App Store Reviews' started by studangerous, Jul 11, 2009.

  1. studangerous

    studangerous Super Moderator Emeritus Staff Member

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    Category: Travel
    Released: April 13, 2009
    Price: $4.99*
    Version: 1.02
    Size: 192MB*
    Developer: Lingopal


    *Lingopal Voyage $0.99, 101MB - Lingopal Flirta $3.99, 89.1MB


    INTRODUCTION

    Off on holiday to a faraway place this summer? If you think you'll need some of the local lingo then Lingopal can help. An electronic phrasebook with three versions. For 99 cents you could go for Lingopal Voyage for your day-to-day essential needs (600 phrases in 42 languages**). Or to help you find love on the beaches there's Lingopal Flirta for $3.99 (300 phrases in 42 languages**). Or instead you could go the whole hog for $4.99 and get both in one app plus phrases of insult. We'll be looking at the full version of Lingopal for this review.​

    **Languages covered in Lingopal: English, Afrikaans, Bengali, Brazilian Portuguese, Bulgarian, Cantonese, Mandarin, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Malay, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Spanish (Latin American), Swedish, Tagalog, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese​


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    Watch Lingopal in action on youtube


    Lingopal is in a class of it's own. There's plenty of low quality phrasebooks on the App Store but Lingopal is the only one I could find that offers both multiple languages and native spoken audio sound bites for every phrase, all packaged into a nice neat interface. The ability to hear sound bites for each phrase is a major plus for the app and bumps the file size of each Lingopal version to around 100MB or more.

    On opening Lingopal you are asked to choose your native language, translation language and your gender (this is for those languages that use gender and not to fine tune the flirting phrasebook). From there on in it's pretty much as you would expect. Choose a category, find a phrase, check it out on screen and then listen to the audio to see how the phrase sounds phonetically.


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    There's twenty-two categories of phrases, covering essentials such as basic day-to-day requirements, sightseeing, business and emergencies to flirting, conversational phrases and, finally, insults. All generally useful stuff. Note that Lingopal Voyage contains only day-to-day phrases (no flirting) while Lingopal Flirta only has the flirting phrases (no day-to-day phrases) and neither of these versions contains the 'bonus' insults found in the full version.


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    There's the option to add phrases to your 'favorites'. Useful when, like me, you've got a mind like a sieve for languages and want to keep those regularly used phrases handy. If you need to find something in particular then there's a search function.


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    TESTING & REVIEW

    To test out the app I checked out day-to-day phrases I might use as a foreigner here in Turkey. A lot of the standard phrases were present though some of those I searched for were not. I found the phrases to order a beer or a glass of wine and there's the phrase 'I'd like to buy ____' but no dictionary of words to fill in that blank. Searching for 'railway' & 'train' provide no semblance or sniff of that phrasebook meme 'Can you give me directions to the train station', though strangely present is the phrase 'I'm a dolphin trainer'. There are however phrases to help me buy the correct train tickets, find platforms and locate my train. Despite the omissions there's a lot of the common phrases you'll need on holiday, so the day-to-day phrase section gets a thumbs up from me - the content is good and what's there shines due to the audio sound bites.

    For the next stage of testing I went and tried the phrases from the flirting section on my wife. 'You are so beautiful that I would marry your brother just to get into your family'... again, all tongue in cheek I presume, nevertheless she wasn't impressed. The phrases in Lingopal that are meant to help you fuel your holiday romance are either bog-standard, dull or more than corny. With them I don't think you'll be igniting any fire that wasn't already aflame before you pulled out your iPhone and fired up Lingopal. There are some interesting ice-breakers in there but there are many more that are likely to get you laughed off the dancefloor.

    Finally comes the bonus insult section only found in the full version. Check it out if you're interested but just avoid ever using it in conversation, no matter how heated. I wouldn't like to utter some of the Turkish insults to a Turk under any circumstances for fear of losing my teeth, or worse. Again, this appears to be more tongue-in-cheek content focused on the fun factor rather than having any real use.

    The search function is somewhat frustrating. You can only search for words in your native tongue and not in the language of the country you are visiting. This means I can order a beer but if I see a phrase, number or other word written in a foreign language and want to know what it is I need to switch my language options and search for the foreign word. A flip switch for native/foreign to foreign/native language would be useful here. The search function also lags as it index-searches after you type each letter. Due to the size of the database I think it would be better to search the DB once you have completed typing and pressed the search button.


    CONCLUSION

    Pros:

    • Wide range of languages and phrases
    • Audio sound bites of all phrases
    • Great interface
    • Generally much cheaper, deeper and better than the competition

    Cons:

    • Needs more day-to-day content & it works best when paired with a dictionary
    • Usefulness of the flirting & insults sectıons is questionable
    • Search function laggy

    Considering the effort the obvious the developers have put into building this app and how much better it is than the competition in terms of UI quality and audio sound bıtes it seems a shame for it to be let down on simple choice of content. I think it should have been geared to suit a wider audience and focus on additional useful day-to-day content rather than than binge App Store shoppers looking for a fun fix from the flirting and insults section, both of which are of dubious use.

    Given that the 'phrase book' market on the App Store is relatively thin and that single language phrase book apps retail for anywhere between $2.99 and an $9.99, if you're going traveling then get Lingopal Voyage for $0.99 is a must buy and probably underpriced. Lingopal Flirta at $3.99 and the full version at $4.99 are not worth the extra expense as their content, albeit interesting, is of questionable use. An overall content rethink by the devs and the possible addition of a dictionary would broaden the application for wider use and appeal and they would even be able to raise the price for such an app in my view.


    RATING


    Lingopal Full - $4.99

    Features..................... 8
    GUI............................. 7
    Audio.......................... 9
    Re-use Value.............. 7
    Value For Money......... 7

    Average...................... 7.6


    Lingopal Flirta - $3.99

    Features..................... 5
    GUI............................. 7
    Audio.......................... 9
    Re-use Value.............. 5
    Value For Money......... 5

    Average...................... 6.2


    Lingopal Voyage - $0.99

    Features..................... 8
    GUI............................. 7
    Audio.......................... 9
    Re-use Value.............. 9
    Value For Money......... 10

    Average...................... 8.6



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  2. Manic Nimrod

    Manic Nimrod Well-Known Member

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    Looks interesting. Might help when i actually start to learn another language.
  3. Universal Denizen

    Universal Denizen Member

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    Very nicely reviewed! I missed seeing this till Manic commented on it. The Testing & Review section was especially insightful

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    Will get the Voyage version.
  4. Lingopal

    Lingopal New Member

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    Hi, thanks for the review.

    I'd like to point out to potential purchasers of Voyage that the OS 3.0 has NOT yet been approved by Apple. It was submitted the same time as Flirta and Lingopal but for some reason (Apple haven't been very forthcoming) Voyage is yet to get the tick.

    Unfortunately I can't give an accurate estimation of when it will be approved; it's entirely in the hands of Apple.

    Thanks again,

    Richard
    CEO, Lingopal
  5. studangerous

    studangerous Super Moderator Emeritus Staff Member

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    Thanks for popping by Richard. Can you tell me if Lingopal Voyage is permanently reduced to $0.99 or will you be raising the price again? If so when? Also do you have any plans for future updates w/ new content?
  6. Abcmsaj

    Abcmsaj Retired Moderator

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    If it had Welsh, I'd buy it... Nice review - I thought at first this app was only ONE language

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