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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.
JR Language is a professional translation service provider for individuals and companies worldwide. They are headed by a multicultural management team with a diverse skill set that helps their clients internationally. They specialize in Spanish to English and English to Spanish translation, but they are also capable of translating in over 60 languages. https://www.ted.com/participate/translate/get-started
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.
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. https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/google-translate/id414706506?mt=8
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.
John Lincoln is CEO of Ignite Visibility, one of the top digital marketing agencies in the nation and a 2017 and 2018 Inc. 5000 company. As a digital marketing expert and in-demand public speaker, Lincoln is consistently named one of the top marketing experts in the industry. In 2017, he was the recipient of the Search Engine Land "Search Marketer of the Year" award, he has been named the #1 SEO consultant by Clutch.co and most admired CEO by the San Diego Business Journal. Ignite Visibility crafts custom digital marketing strategies for clients, including services in SEO, social media, paid media, email marketing, Amazon and more.
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.
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.
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). https://translate.video/app/
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.
These devices are a popular gift for elderly relatives or retirees doing a bit of traveling, and the last thing they need is to spend all day messing around with a faulty Bluetooth connection, which is why the top picks on this list all have big screens. You won't need to pair them with your phone, and they support a wide variety of languages. More niche options have features like offline translation, but the language selection is limited.
Human translation: Human translation is performed by people who are fluent in the language pair being translated. The whole process, from translation to proofreading, is performed by people. This type of translation is generally more accurate than machine translation since the humans who translate will account for nuances and cultural context. Because of this, though, it takes longer than machine translation.
I’m split on the ili in two ways. I travel a lot. For the last 3+ years I’ve spent extended time in over 30 countries across 5 continents. In all that time I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve needed any translator. While Mandarin is the most-spoken first language in the world (Spanish being second), English is by far the most prevalent second language. It’s essentially the lingua franca of the world, especially in touristy places. In the times during my travels there was no common language between me and someone, a big smile and hand gestures worked wonders. https://www.inwhatlanguage.com/video-translation-its-easier-than-you-think/