Jibbigo is a new iPhone app that can translate English speech into Spanish—and the reverse—all without going online. You simply launch the $25 app and speak into your iPhone’s microphone and the translation is played over the speaker.
It’s like having a live interpreter in your pocket, without requiring that said interpreter also be a contortionist.
On the iPhone 3GS, the app can handle translating both languages simultaneously, to facilitate conversations. Users of earlier iPhone models need to choose which direction they’d like to translate when they launch the app, and restart it to switch. As a slick bonus, the app handles all its translation duties on the iPhone itself, and doesn’t need an Internet connection at all.
According to the developers, the Jibbigo app isn’t limited to certain phrases and expressions; it’s armed with a dictionary of 40000 words, and performs well if you limit yourself to one or two sentences at a time.
The app works with the iPhone or second-generation iPod touch and requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later. I haven’t yet parted with the $25 myself, so I’m unable to report on just how the app would translate the word “Jibbigo” itself.