Lingopal 44 is your own personal foreign language guidebook

Lingopal 44 screenshot

Lingopal 44 is a language translation app that acts as a travel companion. Rather than just automatically translate any words or phrases you type in the app, it provides a lengthy, categorized list of common words and phrases to listen to and use on demand. Lingopal 44 supports - you guessed it - 44 different languages around the world and includes dozens of categories for communication. The app is free for iOS with in-app purchases and requires iOS 7.1 or later.

Typical translation apps and services have you type in any sentence you need to learn in a foreign language, but Lingopal 44 takes a different approach, one that's arguably better or worse in various circumstances. It acts as more of a digital guidebook. It comes without a label, but upon first launch the app is asking you to choose your native language, followed by your sex, then the foreign language you want to use to boot. It also asks you if you want to enable some content for ages 17 and up.

For free, Lingopal 44 includes the Essentials category and if you choose to view the aforementioned mature content, you also get the Flirting category. I thought this was a little odd. Of all categories to include at the get-go, flirting is really a top priority? Not the categories for directions, traveling or even numbers? Okay then.

Lingopal 44 screenshot

The other categories range from Days & Time to Dining to Making Conversation to Business Talk. If you were skeptical about this app lacking categories or phrases to say just because it's preloaded, fear not. The amount of content is here is truly plentiful enough to get by. If you choose to allow the mature content, the app includes the main Flirting category plus eight other subcategories for flirting, a gay category (which is basically just same-sex flirting,) and X-rated insults, vulgar yet hilarious. However, the first "Flirting" is still the only one available for free.

Each category comes with plenty of relevant phrases. Tap one to view the translation in your selected language, which is adjustable in the Settings tab. Additionally, use the buttons underneath to view the translation in full-screen mode, play a recording, turn on repeat to continuously play the recording or save the translation to your favorites.

If you're having trouble finding what you need or browsing through categories and lists is becoming tedious, Lingopal 44 comes with a Search tab to filter down what you're trying to say by keyword.

Without paying anything, the app won't get you very far. An in-app purchase is necessary to unlock the rest of the categories and phrases, either per language or for all languages. Each language pack is US$0.99, but for a limited time (until Jan. 30, 2015) unlocking all languages is only $0.99, down from the normal rate of $9.99. If you're interested in downloading Lingopal 44, now is a good time.

Lingopal 44 screenshot

The app lacks a bit in the areas of design and stability. In fact, it crashed on me multiple times during my time of review. Plus, I'm not sure if having this preloaded guidebook for languages offers any practical benefit over just using a translator and typing in what you want to say. Perhaps this might be better for learning and memorizing foreign languages as opposed to on the fly translation.

Either way, the choice is yours. Especially now with the in-app purchase sale, Lingopal is a solid tool for travel and translation. It's free for iPhone and iPad in the App Store.