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.
Language Scientific was founded in 1999 by a group of international scientists and engineers. The company was born out of the group’s frustration with the inaccurate technical and scientific translations they discovered while working together on a nuclear non-proliferation project for the US Department of Energy. Today, Language Scientific has grown to include over 5,000 highly specialized translators. https://uncubed.com/daily/best-translation-apps-for-travel-in-2019/
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:
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.
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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.
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It is important to choose a translator that performs accurate translations because you do not want to offend anyone with your translations. The most accurate translators are equipped with a new technology called statistical translation. This technology allows the translator to search different databases to find the most accurate translations. However, it is very important to note that the largest data base of translations are located on the World Wide Web and in order to have access to this database the translator needs access to the Internet.
IflyTek has been developing its Auto Speech Recognition technology that allows a device to convert speech instantly, and the Salange Electronic Translator is pocket-sized and allows users to translate Chinese to English and English to Chinese. The device is designed to block out background noise, so users can speak clearly into the microphone. After recording, the phrase is translated into the opposite language and “spoken” by the device. Salange is perfect for those who need practice with the “audio” part of a language (it doesn’t translate written word) or for communicating when traveling. The translator measures 3.2 x 1.6 x 1 inches and has a micro SD charging cord.
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.
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. https://www.amazon.com/ili-Instant-Offline-Language-Translator/product-reviews/B078J28C1L