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English phrases for tourists
When an elderly Chinese friend showed me an Android "tourist phrasebook" application that someone in China had installed on his phone, and asked me if I'm able to install it on a tablet, I found that the application, which was called 旅行翻译官
(lǚxíng fānyìguān, “travel translation-officer”), was said to "need" access to the following: the list of other applications running on the device, the browsing history, bookmarks, accounts, profile data, contacts, the ability to make phone calls, the call log, all files, storage card, microphone, Wi-Fi information, the phone number, and the numbers of any phone calls that connect. Since I couldn't imagine any legitimate reason why that phrasebook would need any
of those things, I'm forced to conclude that this is either very sloppy programming ("just require everything because I can't be bothered to work out what I actually need") or a blatant attempt to install "spyware" on the phone (don't people read
these things before they press the "OK" button?) I therefore informed him of the application's requirement to access the phone calls, whereupon he requested I remove it from his phone, which I did. He then asked me to install an alternative.
While I have mixed feelings about lists of "phrases for tourists" (which are not meant for serious learning, and typically lack the phrases you really want and cannot be accessed quickly enough in an emergency), I nonetheless felt that, since I had (albeit with good intentions) persuaded this man to discard a piece of software, and not because he shouldn't be wanting that type of software in the first place, I therefore 'ought' to find him a replacement. As I was not able to find and download one that I could genuinely recommend, I said I'd go and knock one up myself.
To install this on Android, download EnglishPhrases.apk (you might need to enable "Unknown Sources" in Application Settings or Security). Below is a Web version (click for audio).
礼貌 / Politeness
路上方向 / Directions
买东西 / Shopping
吃饭 / Eating
运输 / Transport
因特网 / Internet
电话 / Telephone
数目 / Numbers
星期和月 / Weeks and months
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