We spent 25 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. As friendly as people can be in other countries, there are some concepts you simply can't get across through pantomime. Before you head off on that round-the-world dream vacation, consider one of these voice translators. They take up a lot less space in a suitcase than 15 different dictionaries would, so you'll have more room for souvenirs. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best voice translator on Amazon.
But I understand that not everyone is willing to wing it like that. Some topics aren’t as easily explained with hand gestures (how do you mime something like “hotel” or "I'm allergic to peanuts."). While I’m a strong proponent of getting a local SIM when you travel, and thereby gaining access to Google Translate wherever you are, that too is not always possible.

I do wish it did more. The company is very pro one-way translation. Their arguments are valid, but I still think it’d be useful for the other person to be understood as well. It’d be easy enough to say, and have ili translate “press the button and say small sentences,” or something similar, to get the person understand how to use it and to keep it simple. This isn’t as huge of a complaint as it might seem, though, since like I said above, it’s remarkable what one can accomplish with hand gestures. So many travel interactions require simple, easily-understood responses, that getting yourself understood is way more than 50% of any interaction.


I do wish it did more. The company is very pro one-way translation. Their arguments are valid, but I still think it’d be useful for the other person to be understood as well. It’d be easy enough to say, and have ili translate “press the button and say small sentences,” or something similar, to get the person understand how to use it and to keep it simple. This isn’t as huge of a complaint as it might seem, though, since like I said above, it’s remarkable what one can accomplish with hand gestures. So many travel interactions require simple, easily-understood responses, that getting yourself understood is way more than 50% of any interaction.
The Wikipedia translator -- very useful for technical translations. Harnesses the vast amount of cross-lingual information on Wikipedia and Wiktionary, and present it in a neat, time-saving way. Simple user interface. Built for translators, by a translator, but is a generic tool for anyone who wonders what a word or phrase means, which language it is and what it is in other languages. All Wikipedia languages (currently 292).
The Wikipedia translator -- very useful for technical translations. Harnesses the vast amount of cross-lingual information on Wikipedia and Wiktionary, and present it in a neat, time-saving way. Simple user interface. Built for translators, by a translator, but is a generic tool for anyone who wonders what a word or phrase means, which language it is and what it is in other languages. All Wikipedia languages (currently 292). 

It was actually making the video that brought me around on the ili. How well it worked, understanding what I said and quickly translating it, all without the help of the Internet, that was pretty neat. Right now, I can see this coming in handy for a lot of people. In the near future, though, I’m positive Trek’s Universal Translator, or the Babel fish, or C-3P0, will all definitely be possible soon.


Website translation: A great website translation will include localization to accurately communicate your intended message. JR Language Translation Services can help you translate one page of your website or they can translate your website in its entirety. They are even able to offer multilingual Search Engine Optimization (SEO) services to help your website’s rankings. 

SDL is a leading content creation and translation company, with a free machine translation service for basic-level translations. We are currently undertaking development work on our free translation tool, and hope to be back in action shortly. However in the meantime, select an option below to find out more about our professional and enterprise-grade translation services:
The palm-sized ECTACO Partner 900 is ideal for those interested in learning Spanish. It instantly converts voice text by repeating it aloud or speaking it in Spanish or English, and also has a roster of other features to help you learn the language. Take a photo of text (such as a restaurant menu) and it instantly converts it to English (an Internet connection is required for this part of the program). There’s also a talking picture dictionary and phrasebook, as well as a full language-learning program with linguistic crosswords and pronunciation assistance. The translator measures 6 x 3.5 x 0.7 inches and weighs 9.8 ounces.
There are three buttons. The power button does what you’d expect. You hold the big one on the front to have ili listen and automatically translate. Tapping it again will repeat the phrase it just spoke. The third button repeats back what it thinks you said, in ili’s voice. If you hold down that last button it switches between the ili's 3 languages: Spanish, Japanese, and Mandarin.
Machine translation: Machine translation refers to a computer performing the work of translating. Translating services who utilize machine translation employ human editors to proofread and review the machine translation before giving to the client. These translations are often faster than human translations, however, they may lack nuance and cultural fluency. They are a good option when you need a literal translation fast and don’t need it to have exact cultural fluency. https://gotranscript.com/video-translation-services
Amara Enterprise delivers powerful solutions for your video accessibility and localization needs. Key platform features include private and secure workspaces, flexible workflows for creating quality subtitles, plus a powerful API for connecting seamlessly to your own platform. Amara helps companies around the world streamline their subtitling processes.
There are three buttons. The power button does what you’d expect. You hold the big one on the front to have ili listen and automatically translate. Tapping it again will repeat the phrase it just spoke. The third button repeats back what it thinks you said, in ili’s voice. If you hold down that last button it switches between the ili's 3 languages: Spanish, Japanese, and Mandarin.

Human machine translation with translation memory and glossaries options. The program features a graphical user interface that can be located anywhere on the screen side by side with the text being translated. Both the translation memories and the glossaries are bi-directional (For example: they can be used in English-French and French-English translation). Both are text files that can be easily edited using any word processing tool (Notepad, MS Excel, MS Word, etc. ) Features also including importing SDL TRADOS translation memories (TMX and Workbench-exported translation memories) and WordFast TM's. Extra features include aligning previous translations, etc. - ammokhtar
Join the tens of thousands of people making the wealth of information on the internet accessible to everyone. There are many opportunities to volunteer. Organizations, like TED Talks, Scientific American, Net in Nederlands, and Udacity are just a few. Others, such as the Captions Requested team ensure videos are accessible to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.
It's important to keep in mind there’s no such thing as “real time translation” yet, despite what Google says. We’re still not quite there for the Star Trek-style Universal Translator that just speaks in your language while someone else is speaking. Right now it’s sentence (pause) by sentence (pause), give or take a few sentences. No translator is meant to tell your life story. Mostly it’s for asking for the bathroom. The ili does that, and a lot more. It's positioned as travel-centric, but I threw a lot of random phrases its way and it did pretty well. Maybe it can't translate random medical conditions, but just about anything a traveler would need should be covered.

Amara Enterprise delivers powerful solutions for your video accessibility and localization needs. Key platform features include private and secure workspaces, flexible workflows for creating quality subtitles, plus a powerful API for connecting seamlessly to your own platform. Amara helps companies around the world streamline their subtitling processes.

The palm-sized ECTACO Partner 900 is ideal for those interested in learning Spanish. It instantly converts voice text by repeating it aloud or speaking it in Spanish or English, and also has a roster of other features to help you learn the language. Take a photo of text (such as a restaurant menu) and it instantly converts it to English (an Internet connection is required for this part of the program). There’s also a talking picture dictionary and phrasebook, as well as a full language-learning program with linguistic crosswords and pronunciation assistance. The translator measures 6 x 3.5 x 0.7 inches and weighs 9.8 ounces.


Offering both enterprise and consumer versions, Microsoft Translator is probably the most versatile option on the market. Users can type the text they want translated, speak aloud, or take a photo of an image containing the text. The translator is also available as a Smartwatch app, for both iOS and Android, making it easily accessible for on-the-go travelers.
Video translation service providers accurately translate video files. The most common services provided are video-to-text, where a video file from one language is translated and transcribed to text in a different language, and “voice-over," where audio from one language is translated and recorded into audio in a different language. Multimedia localization services frequently provide many of the same solutions as video translators, including subtitles. Providers translate between numerous languages and typically can guarantee a level of confidentiality when necessary. Businesses that work internationally or with clients that speak different languages may benefit from translation services. Companies that frequently require translation may employ an in-house translator but still utilize these providers when working with less common languages or for large projects. Many video translation providers offer audio translation solutions , which usually involve a similar process.
It was actually making the video that brought me around on the ili. How well it worked, understanding what I said and quickly translating it, all without the help of the Internet, that was pretty neat. Right now, I can see this coming in handy for a lot of people. In the near future, though, I’m positive Trek’s Universal Translator, or the Babel fish, or C-3P0, will all definitely be possible soon.
There are three buttons. The power button does what you’d expect. You hold the big one on the front to have ili listen and automatically translate. Tapping it again will repeat the phrase it just spoke. The third button repeats back what it thinks you said, in ili’s voice. If you hold down that last button it switches between the ili's 3 languages: Spanish, Japanese, and Mandarin. https://globalvis.com/translation-services/video-translator/
As a translator that can recognize and convert spoken language, the Pulomi TT is a useful tool for any international traveler. This super-compact device slips into your pocket or purse so you can translate anywhere, anytime. Download the TT app, connect your phone to the device via Bluetooth and instantly translate between 52 different languages, including Japanese, German, Arabic, Hindi, and many more (it does require an Internet connection to work). The TT uses a high-fidelity microphone to record the foreign language and then speaks the translation back, in addition to sending a text transcription to your phone. This makes it a very helpful device for travelers, and particularly useful to those who are trying to learn another language. 
There are three buttons. The power button does what you’d expect. You hold the big one on the front to have ili listen and automatically translate. Tapping it again will repeat the phrase it just spoke. The third button repeats back what it thinks you said, in ili’s voice. If you hold down that last button it switches between the ili's 3 languages: Spanish, Japanese, and Mandarin.
TransBox: One Hour Translation developed TransBox to help businesses who frequently communicate with foreign language speakers over email. This unique system helps bridge the language gap between the email sender and reader. A client can email you in one language, and you will respond in your native language after having the original email translated by a human translator. The whole process takes only a few hours for a short email exchange.

There are three buttons. The power button does what you’d expect. You hold the big one on the front to have ili listen and automatically translate. Tapping it again will repeat the phrase it just spoke. The third button repeats back what it thinks you said, in ili’s voice. If you hold down that last button it switches between the ili's 3 languages: Spanish, Japanese, and Mandarin.


Cloudwords is free for a customer to use for up to three languages in 5 concurrent projects at time. Included with Cloudwords free edition, there is a choice of integrations with Marketing Automation (Marketo, Eloqua, SFMC, etc), Content Management (Wordpress, Drupal, etc) or product content (Github, Subversion, etc) that automatically interface with existing tools.
Machine translation: Machine translation refers to a computer performing the work of translating. Translating services who utilize machine translation employ human editors to proofread and review the machine translation before giving to the client. These translations are often faster than human translations, however, they may lack nuance and cultural fluency. They are a good option when you need a literal translation fast and don’t need it to have exact cultural fluency.
ISO-9001:2008 certification: The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) certifies certain quality management procedures, and ISO-9001:2008 is the most updated version of this certification. It is not specific to translation or localization industries; however, it certifies that there are documented processes to the translation or localization service. It is an objective standard that ensures certain quality measures are being met by certified organizations.
For a translator that will get you through the basics of several European languages without putting a giant hole in your pocket, the Franklin TWE-118 is a great choice. The handheld device translates to and from English, French, Spanish, German and Italian with more than 210,000 translations available. The device measures 4.25 x 2.75 x .62 and resembles a calculator, with a letter keyboard to type in words and phrases. There’s a search function that categorizes phrases into useful groups such as dining, hotels, directions, business and more. There’s also a built-in currency converter, spell checker, databank for names and phone numbers and calculator, plus a world clock and games. 
Another factor to take into consideration is the translator’s range of vocabulary. Make sure your translator is equipped with professional vocabulary for whatever purpose you intend to use it for. You don’t want to translate to your doctor in China the wrong text as to what symptoms you are feeling. That is why it is important to make sure your translator will have a well-developed medical vocabulary. The number of words your translator is equipped with will guarantee a quality and accuracy of translation.

The next question you want to ask yourself is whether you need an electronic translator that recognizes speech. Thanks to the growing development in technology it is now possible to speak directly into your electronic translator and receive an automated translation in the other language of choice. Sounds incredible? Well, it is. Say “good afternoon” and you’ll hear "konnichiwa" back in Japanese. It’s important to note that speech recognition is quite a new technology and it still requires an Internet connection for accurate translations.
For a translator that will get you through the basics of several European languages without putting a giant hole in your pocket, the Franklin TWE-118 is a great choice. The handheld device translates to and from English, French, Spanish, German and Italian with more than 210,000 translations available. The device measures 4.25 x 2.75 x .62 and resembles a calculator, with a letter keyboard to type in words and phrases. There’s a search function that categorizes phrases into useful groups such as dining, hotels, directions, business and more. There’s also a built-in currency converter, spell checker, databank for names and phone numbers and calculator, plus a world clock and games. 
Amara Enterprise delivers powerful solutions for your video accessibility and localization needs. Key platform features include private and secure workspaces, flexible workflows for creating quality subtitles, plus a powerful API for connecting seamlessly to your own platform. Amara helps companies around the world streamline their subtitling processes.

For an alternative to carrying several dictionaries in various languages, the Brookstone Passport is an excellent choice and provides more than 8,000 useful phrases. The device cross translates 12 international languages: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Turkish, Dutch, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese and Swedish. Measuring 5.4 x 4.8 x 4 inches, the portable translator has eight conversational categories to choose from and it “speaks” aloud and displays the phrase on the screen. Another handy feature is that it allows you to save up to 50 favorite phrases. It also comes with a built-in personal phone book to help stay organized and an auto-shut off button with password access. 


Offering both enterprise and consumer versions, Microsoft Translator is probably the most versatile option on the market. Users can type the text they want translated, speak aloud, or take a photo of an image containing the text. The translator is also available as a Smartwatch app, for both iOS and Android, making it easily accessible for on-the-go travelers.
As a translator that can recognize and convert spoken language, the Pulomi TT is a useful tool for any international traveler. This super-compact device slips into your pocket or purse so you can translate anywhere, anytime. Download the TT app, connect your phone to the device via Bluetooth and instantly translate between 52 different languages, including Japanese, German, Arabic, Hindi, and many more (it does require an Internet connection to work). The TT uses a high-fidelity microphone to record the foreign language and then speaks the translation back, in addition to sending a text transcription to your phone. This makes it a very helpful device for travelers, and particularly useful to those who are trying to learn another language. 

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EN-15038:2006 certification: This certification is a specific European standard for translation services and is designed to provide translation service providers with a detailed set of procedures and requirements that are meant to meet the needs of the market. A translation done by a company with EN-15038:2006 certification is read by a reviewer other than the translator before it can be finalized. Translators who work for a certified translation service must meet specific requirements, such as achieving advanced translation certification, an equivalent qualification in another area of specialization in addition two years or more of documented experience translating and/or a minimum of five years’ experience of professional translating. https://gengo.com/translation-solutions/youtube/

SDL is a leading content creation and translation company, with a free machine translation service for basic-level translations. We are currently undertaking development work on our free translation tool, and hope to be back in action shortly. However in the meantime, select an option below to find out more about our professional and enterprise-grade translation services:


As a translator that can recognize and convert spoken language, the Pulomi TT is a useful tool for any international traveler. This super-compact device slips into your pocket or purse so you can translate anywhere, anytime. Download the TT app, connect your phone to the device via Bluetooth and instantly translate between 52 different languages, including Japanese, German, Arabic, Hindi, and many more (it does require an Internet connection to work). The TT uses a high-fidelity microphone to record the foreign language and then speaks the translation back, in addition to sending a text transcription to your phone. This makes it a very helpful device for travelers, and particularly useful to those who are trying to learn another language. 
Join the tens of thousands of people making the wealth of information on the internet accessible to everyone. There are many opportunities to volunteer. Organizations, like TED Talks, Scientific American, Net in Nederlands, and Udacity are just a few. Others, such as the Captions Requested team ensure videos are accessible to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. https://mashable.com/video/wt2-plus-wearable-translator-timekettle/
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