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Phileas Fogg and Passepartout approach the Swiss Alps

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Translation Options

This topic covers finding a translator or interpreter immediately either in person or by phone or being able to immediately translate between two languages using a website you can get to from your PC, PDA, PocketPC, Palm or web-enabled cellphone. You will have to pay for on-demand phone interpreters. As for web-based automatic translation services where you cut and paste text between languages or translate websites or website pages, we focus on those that are popular and free.  
Immediate Translation
 

You have several options to communicate with someone when you don't speak their language and they don't speak yours.


Via Phone.  You can speak to someone over the phone who can connect you with an interpreter who can translate between you and the person you need to communicate with in the other language.  There will normally be a charge for this service. See below.   call the local tourist office and someone there may be willing to translate for you.
 
Via WebUsing a desktop computer available in a hotel or cybercafé, or your laptop, a PDA device or your web-enabled cellphone, you can go to a website that automatically translates between English and the other person's language.  You sit together and take turns typing in your questions and answers.  You can also use the web to find a translator or interpreter in the city you are in.  The hotel staff or concierge will also help you find someone.
 
In Person.  Your hotel front desk personnel may be able to help you in an emergency or help you find someone who is willing to translate for you. If you are on a tour, of course, the tour guide will help you and often tour members will speak your language and the other language as well.  And, of course, if  you have made friends in the country you are visiting that speak your language and the native language, they will usually be willing to help you. If you need more than brief help, offer to pay them or treat them to dinner.
 
 
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