My checklist

Smartphone apps

here are a few apps I installed and configured on my smartphone for the trip

Google Maps

nearly mandatory, but here are a few tips and tricks to make it even better.

Offline areas

One of the most useful features on a trip. Download the areas of the cities were are visiting. It will take a bit of space on your smarphone, but it will allow you to check for interesting facts about the area and more recently, plan a drive while beeing offline. Here how to do it:

For example downloading most the norway area:

  1. open GM, and go to the offline areas in the menu.
  2. tap on the ( + ) icon
  3. your device will show a frame around an area that it is able to download
  4. Navigate as you would in Maps, and frame your area of interest
  5. you can preview what size it will be downloading,
    1. be sure to be on wifi, these file can be heavy ( > 1GB) !
      1. tap on top-right (gear) icon to access the settings then:
  6. click download
  7. name the area
  8. download will start automatically and the area will soon be available without any connection.

Google translate, and how to use it properly

Google Translate can be very useful to make a simplified conversation in any language you can think of. I will help you set it up for norwegian, it’s then very easy to configure for other languages we might encounter during our trip.

Some might say that google translate is not accurate, but here’s a tip: give it context, i’ll explain later.

First, lets make google translate usable offline for norwegian.

  1. open google translate
  2. choose offline translation
  3. there are 2 parts on that screen:
    1. Downloaded language
      1. in this section, all the languages that have been downloaded, usually the one corresponding to the language of your phone
      2. you can delete the ones you dont need by clicking the bin next to it
    2. All available language
      1. scroll this list and add the language you want to translate from/to
      2. click the download symbol next to it
      3. download will start automatically and the chosen language will be available offline soon.
        1. be sure to do this on wifi as the files are quite heavy

Give it context

It’s always a good idea to type or speak a full phrase or a complete group of words for google translate to give a more accurate translation.

for example,

Retraite (retirement)

translated to dutch with GT  gives pensioen

maison de retraite (retirement home)

translated to dutch with GT gives: verpleeginrichting

Conversation mode

This mode will work offline too

  1. on the main screen, choose the from/to languages the click the microphone
  2. start to speak in your language
  3. at the end of your sentence, stop. Give time for GT to speak and make your interlocutor listen to it.
  4. press the microphone or the button with the language you want again, and start to speak.
  5. etc…