Jibbigo, by Mobile Technologies, is a bilingual translation app for the iPhone and iPod Touch that can translate your speech directly into another language. (Jibbigo costs $24.99. Download via iTunes store link.) Currently, the app supports only English-to-Spanish and Spanish-to-English translations, but Mobile Technologies says it will support other languages in the future.
Jibbigo is easy to use, but like most voice-input apps, it works best in environments with low-to-moderate background noise, and you must speak clearly when using it. To start translating, you launch the app and record a sentence in English or Spanish. Jibbigo then translates the spoken input into the appropriate language, displays the translated text, then speaks it using a synthesized voice with an included vocabulary of 40,000-plus words for travelers in a variety of situations, including medical emergencies, restaurant settings, or general conversation.
To take full advantage of the Jibbigo's features, you'll need an iPhone 3GS or a third-generation iPod Touch, since the app supports two-way translations on these devices. Other iPhones and iPods are limited to unidirectional translations, explained in this table that details what works and what doesn't on each Apple device.
Jibbigo worked well in our field tests, although it did make occasional small mistakes. We got a good hard laugh out of the way the app handles curse words--speaking one or more of these words results in a text translation of <beep> for each one and a loud auditory bleep. A "rude dictionary" that would translate these words is apparently in the works, but not yet available.
We noted that the app took a bit longer to launch then any app we've used before, but other than that, we have no huge complaints. We'll be happy when Jibbigo adds more languages to its repertoire.
A demonstration of Jibbigo can be seen in this video: