A Friendly & Customizable Translation Kit

when you are aboard and off the grid

The Travel translation tools Landscape

Smart phone apps (e.g. google translation) with speech/image recognition are amazing, but they require fast internet and savvy users. If you are trying to have a two-way translated convo, chances are, your new friend will wrestle with the app for the first 10 minutes.

Offline or print dictionaries come in handy when you are off-the-grid but takes a while to get your point across.

Good ole body language or drawing on a piece of paper. It’s a lot more fun and friendly but also dependent on your personality & drawing skills.

How can we find the perfect balance?

My explorations starts off with a personal use case. During Christmas, my boyfriend and I went to visit my hometown in China. I do real-time human translation most of the time, but in case of him getting lost, I made a survival kit for him.

First comes the the Sketch edition

Feel free to Download the sketch template and make your own version. Print out the cards to put in your wallet or simply save them to your smart phone photo gallery.

(Text on the blue backgrounds says “Hi! Can you help me?”)

Then comes the the drag&drop web edition

Simply choose from the most-common phrases, drag and drop to build your own card. Save by take a screenshot, print or save in your phone.

If you have internet connection, you can also drag & drop in realtime to construct your sentence.

Here’s the link to the site. If you’d like to further customize the phrases, you can do it in this codepen.

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