A backpacker couple with smart phone at the airport
Credit: Hinterhaus Productions/Getty Images

Anyone who has ever traveled to a country without knowing the language understands the frustration of attempting to get by in a new place. Now, Hostelworld has an app to help you translate conversations with people in real time.

The new “Speak the World” function is available within the Hostelworld app.

Users can select a language, speak into their iPhone, and then watch as their words are translated audibly and into text. The app then listens for a response and translates it back to you.

The feature can process up to 40 seconds of speech at a time – enough time to ask for directions or find the best place to eat.

In the end, there’s no substitute for learning – as best we can – parts of the languages of the countries we visit, so we can immerse ourselves in the culture. But apps like this one help bridge a communication gap like never before, so you can have a tool to speak to others and connect over shared experiences in ways that were once impossible.

Looks like it’s time to get traveling.