Portable Translation Devices? 🌍 💬

Travel Forums Travel Gear Portable Translation Devices? 🌍 💬

1. Posted by bingetraveler (First Time Poster 1 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Hi All,

My name is Josh, and I’m a travel blogger.

As a frequent explorer, I’m always looking for ways to enhance the efficiency of my travels and recently I’ve been noticing a rising popularity in portable translation devices that offer 2 way translation in multiple languages, WiFi hotspots worldwide and many more.

These interesting little tools I see online, such as the -snip- seem to be able to solve a lot of problems with language barriers and locating destinations while abroad.

I’m all for trying new things but would just like to get an idea from anyone with experience using these translation devices, and whether they are truly superior to translation apps?


Moderator comment: please see Forum Rules

[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. Link to Forum Rules added. ]

2. Posted by Teoni (Travel Guru 1554 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

The one thing that makes me choose an app over a translation device is the fact that apps have algorithms to improve translating as more data is added to the software. So over time an app will get better but a device unless it is getting updates from somewhere will not.

3. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 1735 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

I've used Google Translate a few times. I discovered it when we rented a gite in western France and the landlady spoke no English. She wasn't interested in our French because she had just gotten a tablet computer with Google Translate on it and she was using us to test it. It was somewhat of a fiasco because she'd ask it something in French and have it translated to English. We already knew what she wanted and were impatient to answer. Then to complicate things further, she had it set to English for my husband's reply and he answered in French totally confusing the machine. We played with it for a while but it was time consuming and we finally reverted to French. However, later when we had an electrical emergency in the gite and not the vocabulary to deal with it, we fully appreciated the new machine. It got our electrics fixed and the lights back on in the house . . . and we learned a few new words.

If I were in any other country than France, I'm sure I'd appreciate the translator. You say something and it talks in the other language. They say something and it talks to you in your own language. Very handy. I've also used it a couple times to figure out how to pronounce words although I'm never sure if the translator is pronouncing correctly. I am sure it knows more than I do . . .

At any rate, it's on my phone and when I need it, I'm happy to use it.

4. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 1735 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Oh yes, regarding portable translation devices. Our youngest daughter took one to France on a trip with us once. It was just one more thing to keep charged and then she managed to drop it in a toilet in Chartres and it wouldn't work after that. An app on your phone which you need to have anyway is much more practical. No one needs one more thing to lug around and keep charged.

5. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 3049 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

How did we ever survive years ago before cell phones and laptops! You know, in the "olden days" when we would learn a few basic words like - hello, thank you, goodbye, etc. For something specific we would look up the word in a small basic phrase book and point to the translation. And no wifi needed, no batteries to charge!

(This still works today! And if you trip drop the cheap phrase book it still work too!)

6. Posted by JenniferWhite (Budding Member 22 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

I normally use Google Translator, but once, I tried Travis The Translator that a friend bought, and it was pretty cool. But, as @karazyal said, I also try to learn some basic phrases for 2 main reasons: 1. survival and 2. locals love to see that you are trying and are interested on their country/culture/language.

7. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 1735 posts) 2y 1 Star this if you like it!

Oddly, the country I have the most trouble is England. They immediately know I'm an English speaker so start speaking as fast as possible. Needless to say, I can't understand a word anyone is saying. Not only is the accent very different, lots of words have different meanings. At least in other countries, they know we're English speakers so they slow down and give us a chance at understanding whatever language they are speaking. Slower is better . . .

8. Posted by Andrew Mack (Travel Guru 1037 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Quoting Beausoleil

Oddly, the country I have the most trouble is England. They immediately know I'm an English speaker so start speaking as fast as possible.

This does rather remind me of a friend. In the mid 80s he went to the USA for a year (his brother was/is married to an American girl and lives there... somewhere) and when he returned to London he spoke so slowly that we'd all be trying to finish his sentences for him... usually in the most bazar or humorous ways possible.

My Bavarian mates generally speak pretty good English (especially for the small amount of practice they get) but had real problems when they visited Scotland.

[ Edit: Edited on 21-Sep-2018, at 03:34 by Andrew Mack ]

Post 9 was removed by a moderator
10. Posted by Hueymoo (Budding Member 5 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

The bixby is an excellent tool, works fast and great. Then there is google translate, but that usually gets a little tough to use sometimes