Lonely Planet, known for its travel guides, said it’s developing audio phrasebooks for Java-enabled mobile phones. The company is partnering with Steape for the application design.
There are also versions for Microsoft’s Windows Mobile operating system and for Research In Motion’s BlackBerry devices.
So far, software is available for converting English phrases into Cantonese, Czech, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Spanish, Thai and Vietnamese. Each application contains around 200 phrases with text and audio translations recorded by native speakers, Lonely Planet said.
The programs will be sold through handset manufacturers and network operators, officials said. Prices were not announced.