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Visas and vernacular - Apps to make sense of South Africa

Posted on Monday, 31st Aug 2015

From language barriers to border security, you can encounter some hurdles when travelling to a foreign country. But, thanks to smartphones these hurdles are proving easier to overcome. In this blog we highlight two apps, one that ensures you are in compliance with the new visa regulations and one that can make translations in a flash.

Visa Regulations
There has been some dissent between the South African tourism industry and the department of home affairs since the new visa regulations, put into place on 1 June, regarding adults traveling with children. The visa regulations were designed to prevent child trafficking, as well as domestic child-custody disputes between divorced or separated parents.  The problem is that the regulations were put in place with little consultation with the tourism industry, causing a lot of confusion.

That’s when South African car rental agency Drive South Africa launched a web app aimed at simplifying the new child visa regulations. The web-based app is a visa checklist tool for people travelling into or out of South Africa with children.

To try out this helpful online tool click here!

The child visa checklist allows users to view a checklist of documents specific to their child-travel scenario, in three simple to follow steps. The app has had over 11,000 users from 123 countries since launch.

The app gives parents confidence when travelling in and out of South Africa with children under 18 years old, and removes uncertainty when trying to work out which documents are needed when travelling with youngsters.

Real-time translations
These days there are a host of translation tools, but we have come a long way since phrasebooks. Google Translate is a free mobile app (on android and iOS) that has been advancing in leaps and bounds.

The most handy, and impressive, function is that it lets you point your camera at something written in another language, say a menu or sign, and it’ll translate into your language right before your eyes. On-the-fly voice translations are also available, where the microphone listens to a conversation and gives you the translated text as well as vocalising the translation.

It may take some time to work around accents and colloquialisms, but the app will sure make things a lot easier to understand.

Google Translate recently expanded from seven languages to 27 languages: English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Bulgarian, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Filipino, Finnish, Hungarian, Indonesian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Slovak, Swedish, Turkish and Ukrainian.

Posted in Travel Trends

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