Earlier this week I had the chance to try out the Lexifone real-time translation service, which launched earlier this year in July. I was able to have a conversation with a member of the Lexifone team on the other side of the world, with him speaking Spanish and me English.
The great thing about Lexifone is that there is no setup free or installation required and, unlike its rivals, it does not require a data connection for the call to take place. Calls can be made by landline, mobile phone or VoIP.
I was able to try out two of the modes that Lexifone offers – conversation and confirmation mode – which both worked well, but didn’t try the third mode, face to face. The call quality is very clear and the service is easy to use once you have given it a try for a few minutes.
Conversation mode immediately translates your sentence after it is spoken, where as confirmation mode gives you the chance to preview the interpretation of what you have said before it is translated. Lexifone can be muted (turned on and off) at any point during the call if it’s only the occasional sentence that you need it for. The video below gives a demo of the conversation and confirmation modes in action.
Lexifone has been particularly popular with business users. It’s a great tool for those businesses that want to converse by phone rather than email, but can’t afford the expense of hiring bilingual employees or only need the occasional conversation translated. It’s also useful for those that need to make the occasional call abroad and could be a great tool for some of our international customers here at Clove.
Pricing is very reasonable and is available on either a monthly or pay as you go tariff.
With Lexifone there are over 100 destinations that you can can call and the following languages are supported, with Arabic, Russian and Japanese due to be added in the new year:
- English with 3 (US, UK and Australian)
- European Spanish
- Mexican Spanish
- European Portuguese
- Brazilian Portuguese
- European French
- Canadian French
- and Mandarin (Chinese)
If you do make a few overseas calls, give Lexifone a try and let us know what you think.