Lingopal – Fun Multilingual Phrasebook

Traveling this summer? Here are some useful phrases from Lingopal that might come in handy:

What’s your name?
(Dutch) Wat is uw naam?

I can’t find my luggage.
(Italian) Non riesco trovare il mio bagaglio.

The girls from my country aren’t as hot as you!
(Korean) 제 나라 여자들은 당신처럼 섹시 하지 않아요

You read that right… Lingopal supplies you with 13 categories of “normal” conversational phrases that cover things like dining, getting directions, business talk, and emergencies… and it also comes with 9 categories of flirting plus some mild insults just in case you strike out.

I lived in Korea for a few years starting in 2002, and when I got off the plane I was toting a little phrasebook with me everywhere I went. And you know what? It was a pain in the ass! The next time I go to a foreign country I know nothing about… which is all of them… I’ll probably just be packing Lingopal because it has nearly everything the average traveler needs.

Here’s the full category list as of this version (1.0.2):

  • Essentials
    Hello, goodbye, my name is…
  • Numbers
    1-101, 1000
  • Days & time
    Monday – Friday, yesterday, today, next week…
  • Travelling
    Buying tickets, train arrival/departure…
  • Where is…?
    Rental car, taxi, embassy, bar, restaurant, pharmacy…
  • Dining
    Ordering food and drinks, complaining to the waiter…
  • Accommodation
    Making hotel arrangements, asking for basic things from staff…
  • Directions
    I’m lost, where is…?, how do I get to…?
  • Shopping
    How much is it, do you have larger/smaller…
  • Email & Banks
    Finding an internet cafe, exchanging and transferring money…
  • Making Conversation
    I’m from, my name is, can you take our photo…
  • Business Talk
    I have an appointment, do you have a business card…
  • Emergencies
    Help!, call an ambulance, where is the hospital, I lost my money…
  • Flirting
    You’re pretty/handsome, would you like to dance, I’m a dolphin trainer
  • Flirting – 1st Move
    Is this seat free, where are you going (so am I!)…
  • Flirting – Conversation
    Are you going to kiss me or I have to lie to my friends…
  • Flirting – Compliments
    You have beautiful eyes/lips/skin…
  • Flirting – At the Beach
    Can you rub some lotion on my back… and now my chest…
  • Flirting – For Girls
    You are handsome, I have a boyfriend but he’s not the jealous type…
  • Flirting  – For Boys
    Are you here to meet a nice guy or will I do?…
  • Flirting – Getting Lucky
    My hotel room has a very nice jacuzzi, would you like a massage…
  • Flirting – Rejection
    The door is that way, I’m out of your league, I’m gay
  • Insults – Mild
    You’re an idiot, piss off, you’re disgusting

There are over 900 phrases in all which is great, but the thing that really separates this app from old skool phrasebooks is that each phrase can be played out loud in the native language! This means you don’t need to guess at pronunciation or try to sound things out like the foreign jackass you are, just select the phrase and play the recorded version. Sure, it may sound a little weird if you’re a guy and you play a woman’s voice asking “Do you think I’m cute?” but you’ll still get the message across.

Lingopal also lets you display each phrase in nice big letters, plus you can add phrases to a Favorites list for easy access. Another essential part of this app is that it’s completely local – no internet access is needed to look stuff up.

In the improvements department there are a few things that Lingopal could do to make it a truly complete replacement for paperback reference materials. For starters, those printed phrasebooks usually carry some info on the country you’re visiting… basic customs, major tourist attractions, common foods, that kind of thing. This app covers 42 different languages so that’s a lot of local info to add, but it would definitely help to know if belching after a meal will earn you friends or get you thrown face-first out of a restaurant.

Another major omission is a glossary of individual words. I wouldn’t expect Lingopal to double as a dictionary, but I vaguely recall my old Korean phrasebook having a list of 100 or so common words that get used in stores, restaurants, and hotels. Adding this kind of feature would be a mountain of work for the developer, but it would probably also justify a higher pricetag than the current $4.99.

And this may be stretching it, but some basic maps would probably come in handy as well.

Even without the glossary and local tips, Lingopal is still pretty kickass and I think it’s definitely worth buying if you’re going abroad. The essentials are there, and it’s pretty clear that the folks who made the app were drinking heavily when they put together the Flirting and Insults. The sense of humor in this app is great, and half the fun of traveling is scoring with the locals and/or making them really mad. Good luck trying to find a Berlitz book that shows how to ask someone to lick ice cream off you!

This review covers the full version of the app, but if you just want to pick up chicks you can buy the Flirting sections only for $3.99 in Lingopal Flirta, and you can also get the non-flirting phrases for $.99 in Lingopal Voyage.

iTunes Link
Version 1.0.2
Reviewed on iPhone 3G OS3.0

A quick demo of the app

The Lingopal story

9 Responses to “Lingopal – Fun Multilingual Phrasebook”

  1. Michael (Admin) Says:

    Thanks a lot to the folks at Lingopal for tossing in some codes! Please be sure to tell everyone which code you took. Please!! Por favor! 제발!

    1. T4MA9EJ9R4PL
    3. PPE4J9PY4R7J
    4. TAEX79X3NEYK
    5. NN9RKANFW4L3

    Instructions on how to redeem promo codes can be found here:

    You must have a U.S. iTunes account to redeem codes.

  2. Chris Says:

    NN9RKANFW4L3 taken. Thanks!

  3. Brian Says:

    I took number 3!

  4. Jes Says:

    I grabbed 2 : )

  5. James Jones Says:

    T4MA9EJ9R4PL taken, thanks

  6. Bryan Says:

    Grabbed #4. Thank you.

  7. Christian Says:

    Took 5 thanks!

  8. Christian Says:

    Scratch that, sadly was already taken.

  9. iApplicate Says:

    Cool application, that’s going to seriously come in handy. I especially like the Big Text option for loud places!

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