Going abroad without a jot of knowledge of the local language is not recommended. If you're off to Spain or Latin America then Lingvosoft Talking PhraseBook 2009 English Spanish could be an indispensable aid for anyone who hasn't studied the language before.
This Windows Mobile program provides instant, bi-directional translations of thousands of useful phrases. The phrases are divided neatly into categories based around what situation you might find yourself in. These include Basics, Traveling, Hotel, Food and drinks, Sport/Leisure, etc. All categories are readily accessible from the Home menu in Talking Phrasebook, where they are clearly labeled with icons. Note that only the first two topics (Basics and Traveling) are available in this trial version.
Click on a topic and you'll be presented with a list of common words and phrases related to that theme. The text in the list is in English and the Spanish translation appears underneath. You can swap these around by clicking on the change direction icon in the toolbar.
Of course, Lingvosoft Talking PhraseBook 2009 doesn't say 'Talking' for nothing, and whenever you select a phrase (in English or Spanish) an audio pronunciation will be played. The quality of the pronunciation is very clear, and you can adjust the volume level using the control within the toolbar.
Lingvosoft Talking PhraseBook 2009 is dead easy to use thanks to its colorful, user-friendly interface. This interface is customizable with themes, and has a handy search function for quickly finding phrases among the thousands stored within the app.
It's worth noting that Lingvosoft Talking PhraseBook 2009 doesn't let you look up individual words to translate. For this, you need to choose 'Related Software' from the 'Tools' menu and select 'Translate in Dictionary'. You will then have to install Lingvosoft Dictionary.
If you're looking for a travel companion for a trip to a Spanish-speaking country, then Lingvosoft Talking PhraseBook 2009 makes for a compact, easy-to-use solution.