Has anyone used a electronic translator? We are thinking of getting a Franklin TG470 which translates 12 languages. We need it primarily for German and Polish. We will be in some rural areas where we know very little if any English will be spoken. Thank you, Larry
I would rather buy a dictionary...an electronic translater is one more thing you have to keep an eye on it, like your digital camera, passport, money...I always liked having a book, because then both parties (you and the person you want to talk to) can have a look into it, without feeling embarassed never having seen such kind of high-tech...
We are also thinking of getting an electronic translator, thinking it may be a quicker way to communicate, and easier to carry along than a number of different translation books (we'll be in Europe 6 months in number of different countries. (So far I haven't seen a translation book for the entire continent!) Would love to know if you purchase one, where you purchase it/price, etc. and how it works for you. Another suggestion we've had is to take pictures of the basics on a cell phone (or even digital cameral I suppose) as a way to ask for the basics (i.e. where is the bathroom (pic. of toilet); where is a cafe (pic. of a cafe or restaurant), where is a bus (pic of bus) etc. I thought this sounded like a good idea.
Actually there are some books with tons of pictures in them...just enter "point it" onto a online bookstore and there are a couple suggestions. I bought one for a good friend when she went to India (I don't know if she actually used it).
In Western Europe you will not have many problems with using English. It's possible that in Eastern Europe, if you want to talk to an older crowd, you will have more difficulties. But for the younger generation, English is the first foreign language learned at school.
Thanks a lot! Great info...I had no idea books like that existed. Sounds much easier than taking our own pics. Our only concern is when we travel outside major centres. Our plan is all Western Europe, but we really want to see the countryside and smaller places that aren't so touristy, and we aren't too sure what the situation with English is there. A book like this sounds like it could help.
I can assure you that even in the most rural village school children are being taught English in Germany. Also a lot of words are somewhat similar, so if you reduce your communication to simple words instead of full flowing sentences, you'll be understood easier. I also assume that you'll be staying in Pensions, and from my experience pension owners can suddenly be quite fluent in English when it comes to doing business.
If you got problems, it just might take a bit longer in than a few seconds to locate somebody in the village who knows more English than "yes", "no" and "okay".
The downside of electronic translators are that (as I know them) translate only one word. If they carry alot of languages, their wordrange is very limited. Carrying a small phrasebook might be more useful. IIRC LP had one for Central Europe, covering German as well as Polish along with a host of other languages. Simple phrasebooks and dictionaries are also more accessible to the person you are trying to communicate to. They are more likely to borrow a dictionary of you to explain something than your electronic gadgets.