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.
Daniel Imperiale holds a bachelor’s degree in writing, and proudly fled his graduate program in poetry to pursue a quiet life at a remote Alaskan fishery. After returning to the contiguous states, he took up a position as an editor and photographer of the prestigious geek culture magazine “Unwinnable” before turning his attention to the field of health and wellness. In recent years, he has worked extensively in film and music production, making him something of a know-it-all when it comes to camera equipment, musical instruments, recording devices, and other audio-visual hardware. Daniel’s recent obsessions include horology (making him a pro when it comes to all things timekeeping) and Uranium mining and enrichment (which hasn’t proven useful just yet). https://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/best-translation-apps/
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. https://www.business.com/categories/translation-software-and-services/
We spent 27 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Whether you're traveling to a country where English isn't readily spoken or you want a handy tool to help you learn a foreign tongue, one of the electronic translators on our list can get the job done. Some are designed to be as small and simple as possible to make your journeys more convenient, while others are as large as some mobile devices and come equipped with tools for language education. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best electronic translator on Amazon.

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.


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.
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.

Enterprise translation: Brands and businesses with ongoing translation needs will benefit from Acclaro’s enterprise translation services. You will work with a dedicated team comprised of a dedicated project manager and native-speaking professional translators who will train with your team to learn your company culture, brand and voice to create cohesion in all your translation projects.


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.
Three-step validation system: Every translation project done by Language Scientific undergoes a three-step validation system for quality assurance. Three sets of eyes look at every project: the translator, editor and proofreader. This ensures a more accurate translation, and any discrepancies between the three sets of eyes will be brought to the attention of the project manager, who will refer to the client for the final decision.
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.
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 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.  https://www.3playmedia.com/solutions/services/translation-subtitling/
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.
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.
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