iPhone Translation App Speaks Three Languages With Your Mouth

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Somewhere on the App Store spectrum, between the travel phrasebooks and those apps that replace your mouth with a slightly weirder mouth, you'll find iLingual, an app that steals your lips, and uses them to speak three different languages.

Here's how it works: you snap a picture of a mouth—yours, your girlfriend's, or just a photo from a magazine—which iLingual then analyzes and converts for animation. Then, you choose a phrase from the app's 400-strong library, hold your iPhone over your mouth and there, you sort speak French, German or a little bit of Arabic, with a disconcertingly segmented, animated pair of lips. Félicitations!

This really shouldn't be more useful than a standard prerecorded phrasebook, but it definitely is. Nobody likes tourists, and the genius of iLingual is that by using it, you're making fun of yourself; you're giving people something—a small amount of your dignity, or if you're lucky, a laugh—in exchange for their help. iLingual is a sponsored app, so it's completely free. [iTunes]