While perusing South Africa’s apps, I came across a few that are translation apps. With other AppMonday posts, I have occasionally tried to get hold of the app developer, to ask more about why they built it and what they want to do in the future. This time, one of the easiest apps to use was called PhraZApp, and the developer responded quickly.
Glenn Stein is an excellent young app developer (read on!), and while completing his current studies (Diploma in IT Programming, Computer Science) and interning for 2go at the same time, he still finds space to burn the midnight oil on his app: PhraZApp. Believe it or not, he’s done his app in Blackberry. And he’s done it pretty well, since it came third in the Vodacom Appstar application development contest.
PhraZApp (named so because of: phrase + ZA + app) is actually the first multi-lingual phrasebook for South Africans to chat to each other in easy terms. The first version has simple phrases which are translated immediately between five of our 11 official languages: English, isiXhosa, Afrikaans, isiZulu and setTswana. Once chosen, a phrase is shown in text and can be read by the user.
The first version of PhraZApp had already been downloaded over 12,000 times at the time of writing this. Glenn speaks a lot about a second version, coming out sometime soon. The app will have voiceovers for all phrases, and an expansion on the amount of words and phrases is in the making too. There will also be a support for a wider range of languages. There were many other features Glenn seemed excited about, but was reluctant to discuss at this point in time.
Ideally, one would be able to simply speak and have a full translation spoken back from the app, but Glenn says we are far from that stage at the moment. He also gave insight into how difficult it is to develop for Blackberry devices.
You can download PhraZApp from the Vodacom Appstore – simply navigate to http://vodacom.mobi/apps on your phone’s browser and do a search for PhraZApp. It’s also available on the Java/Symbian platform. Follow the developer of the app, Glenn Stein, at @GlennTheStein. About the author: Jess Green is a digital entrepreneur, passionate about tech, web and mobile. Follow him on @jessello.