By Brian Gresham

Have you ever been in a situation involving a language barrier? It can get frustrating–fast. The lack of basic communication skills puts a damper on any situation. Living in an area where most of us speak the same language, we tend to take this convenience for granted. Imagine being in the middle of Japan at the age of 7, no idea how to speak Japanese and unable to find your parents, hoping for someone to come along who can translate your fears and frustrations. Been there and done that.

Good communication starts with understanding one another. In most instances communication is done in one of two ways–written or spoken. Communication is the key to any situation involving two or more people. If you cannot communicate with another person, there are ways to work around this handicap by drawing pictures, pointing, and hoping the message gets across. However, that takes more time and energy than necessary.

Simply defined, communication is the successful sharing of a thought, idea, or feeling to another person; the sending and sharing of information. The start of good performance practices begins with communication. Communication is the key component to transactions in any form, from a simple “Hi”  to asking or giving directions on how to get from point A to point B.


I have recently discovered an app, iTranslate Voice 2, that would easily help any of us in a situation that is inhibited by a language barrier. I wish these apps were around when I was a child, lost in the middle of Japan trying to find my parents with a bundle of people gathered around me looking at me as though I was the strangest thing they had ever seen.

iTranslate is an app that allows the user to speak into an iPhone or iPad and then translates what was spoken into any one of 42 popular languages. In addition to translating spoken language, iTranslate also looks up definitions and translations of common words and phrases, and it allows two users with iTranslate to connect devices together to easily engage in conversation. In addition to on-the-go conversations, this app also translates email, text messages, Twitter, or Facebook postings just by speaking into the app (iTunes). The iTranslate app has been recognized by the app store as a top pick for 2012 and 2013, in addition to editors’ pick, “10 Apps that WOW,” and “App Store Essentials.”

For anyone that travels a lot or a little, this could be a great app to add to your arsenal.

For more details on the app, visit the iTunes app store  or the app’s home page.

iTunes App Store. (2004, February 18). iTranslate Retrieved from