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.
Simple process: It’s simple to get your text translated by Translate by Humans on their website. Start by selecting the language pairs you need to be translated. Next, enter the text that needs to be translated. Finally, specify which category the translated document falls into. Choose from general, medical, legal and others. Click the “translate now” to pay. Your translation will be sent to you as soon as possible.
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.
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.
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.
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://mashable.com/2017/01/26/word-lens-japanese/