10 Best

Electronic Translators

of February 2023

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Electronic Translators FAQ

Andre Speransky

What is an electronic translator?

Electronic translators are small handheld devices that allow users to translate words between different languages. They can either translate the words into English or a local language. A translation device uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to process and transmit data to you. These devices also have apps that help them understand what you're telling them. Furthermore, these devices come with internal memory cards that can be used to store most ofen words or phrases.

Types of Electronic Translators

What are the different types of electronic translator?

Listed below are the different types of electronic translators based on their functionality:

  • Non-talking translators: The most basic type that comes with a full QWERTY keyboard, an LCD display and a number of preloaded foreign languages. Travelers type the word or phrase into the device, select the target language, and see its translation on the display screen. 
  • Text-to-speech translators: In this type, the user types a word or phrase into the device, which is then translated into the target language via speech or text message. The user can repeat the spoken translated version and let a native speaker read from the screen or listen to the device. 
  • Speech-to-speech electronic translators: The traveler can navigate the system using spoken commands. While some models of this type of device retain a full keyboard, allowing text and voice input, others remove it completely. The user can speak a word or phrase and wait for the device to return a translation, which will appear on screen and also be spoken. 

What reviewers say

What are the advantages of using an electronic translator?

The following are some advantages of using an electronic translator:

  • Convenience: Unlike printed dictionaries, electronic translation devices are usually pocket-sized and thus much easier to transport. Some models allow users to install extra languages via a memory card or download languages on demand.
  • Clarity: It would be easier for a listener to understand the translated language than your own attempts to pronounce it. Many smartphone-based tools can even translate speech into another language, so you don't have to type words. However, the performance of these tools may vary.  
  • Confidentiality:  It may be risky to give sensitive data to a translator, but with machine translation, your information is safe.
  • Cost-effective: This might seem like an unnecessary investment, but in the long run it is a very small cost considering the benefits it provides. If you hire a professional translator, he will charge you on a per-page-per-day basis, which is much more expensive than buying an electronic translator.
  • Faster Translation: The use of electronic translator can improve translators' capabilities by three to five times in some cases, thus making it possible to translate more content in less time. By increasing productivity and reducing costs, users will be able to translate more content into more languages. 

Important Features

What are the things to consider when buying an electronic translator?

The following basic specs should be taken into account when buying an electronic translator:

  • Size: If portability is important to you, consider the size of your electronic translator. Some models with fold-up displays have the same footprint as smartphones when they are closed, while others have a larger display area to accommodate your text input. Consider models that are practical and can fit into your pockets while traveling. 
  • Batteries: Several electronic translators use two AAA batteries, so make sure you pack extra batteries. Those with lithium-ion rechargeable batteries, however, last longer but are more expensive and heavier than single-use alkaline batteries. And to charge the device, you may need to carry a power adapter.  
  • Display: LCD screens with black-and-white backlights are standard on most basic electronic translators. A more advanced translator will have a color screen or even a touch screen. If visual presentation is important to you, you should consider a model that has this capability.
  • Connectivity: In order to customize the dictionary with your own entries, you will need to be able to connect the device to a computer or smartphone. This is helpful if you are communicating about a highly specialized topic area or need occupation-related words and phrases. Additionally, USB connectivity is needed when an electronic translator is used together with audio players and ebook readers. 

What electronic translator can I choose when traveling to foreign countries?

When traveling to a foreign country, having a compatible electronic translator is essential. For easy mobility, it should be light and portable. Find a translator that has a battery that can sustain it working for at least 24 hours so that you do not get stuck before reaching remote destinations. Buy an electronic translator from a trusted manufacturer who gives clear guidelines on how to use your translator.

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