Some people remain convinced that the best way to deal with a foreign language is to simply raise your voice and repeat your words. In reality, it does little more than pass off these people as ignorant. And while trying to learn a foreign language during a two week vacation might seem like a bit of a stretch, being able to decipher a few common phrases helps travelers feel more comfortable. Plus, it often helps interactions become less of a nuisance for all parties involved. After all, it’s important to try and speak the local language even if it’s just to say hello and goodbye.
Fortunately, it is no longer necessary to learn an entire language before your next vacation. Modern technology has made it possible to overcome the language barrier with smart devices capable of translating in seconds. Whether you are in an important business meeting with foreign clients, in a restaurant ordering your dinner or even on a date with someone who does not speak English, these translation devices offer near instantaneous translation and often speak dozens of languages, which means you can use these devices on all your vacations around the world.
Why you should use a translation device
There is a common misconception that âeveryone in the world speaks Englishâ. Of course, although English is a global language, many tourists discover it quickly once you move away from the crowded tourist spots, the English speaking crowds diminish quickly. And knowing a few key phrases might not be enough anymore. Especially when emergency situations arise abroad.
True story: I was in Thailand and rented a scooter to go from Chang Mai to Pai. On the way back my scooter broke down. We left it and I drove back into town in the back of my friend’s scooter. The rental companies who were working on my return did not speak English and did not want to return our passports to us without the scooter, and we were leaving for the Philippines the next day. Things finally worked after looking around town for someone who spoke both Thai and English and was willing to help two complete strangers (for a hefty price). But if I had had a translation device, the whole process could have taken a lot less time and would have been a lot less urgent. We lost an entire day of travel due to the debacle.
The latest technologies like the Google Pixel Buds or the iPhone 13 with iOS 15 can help you translate quickly from one language to another. Depending on the device, these can translate both spoken and written words completely covering your basics when traveling. You can basically cross the language barrier with one of these devices.
We’ve rounded up a selection of the best translation devices available online and reviewed them below. They are great for all kinds of exchanges at home and abroad and are sure to help you in a number of situations that would otherwise be a bit tricky. The majority require an internet connection in some form or another to function, whether through your phone or a local WiFi connection, but they are all designed for use on the go.
Invest in one of these devices and say goodbye to awkward and confusing exchanges while making sure you get the most out of your visit to a foreign country.
1. Google Pixel Buds Series A
If you want a pair of affordable Android wireless headphones, these are a great option, but for traveling, they can be your saving grace. When paired with the Google Translate app, someone speaking a foreign language can speak into your phone, and you will hear the translation in the language of your choice through your headphones. It also works the other way around. You can long press your headset and say, âOk Google, help me speak Spanish,â for example, and you can talk. The app will transcribe what you say into Spanish and you can show the text to someone.
Buy: Google Pixel Buds Series-A $ 99.99
2. iPhone 13 (iOS 15)
There is a translator app available on newer iOS 15 devices like the iPhone 13 that lets you instantly transcribe text to another language. Say you are walking down a narrow street in downtown Milan and wondering what a sign outside a local cafe says. You can hold your camera in front of the panel using the translator app and the text in another language will change from the foreign language to the language of your choice. This is especially useful when you are in a restaurant and the menu is in a different language.
Buy: iPhone 13 (iOS 15) $ 799.00
3. Pockettalk Model S real-time bidirectional translator
This portable translation device is about the size of your cell phone, assuming you don’t have a giant phone. It has the ability to translate between 82 different languages ââand transcribe speech to text, so that you can speak into the device, hand it to the individual for them to listen to and to speak and render. . Pretty simple, eh. But it can also translate text or signs using a handy camera on the device. Our SPY team went in depth with this translator and really enjoyed our experience.
Buy: Pockettalk Model S Bidirectional Real-Time Translator $ 249.00
4. Langogo Genesis 2-1 AI Translator
The Langogo Translator device contains many interesting features. For starters, it has a self-taught AI, which means the more you use it, the more vocabulary it learns and the more precise it becomes. This does not mean that it is not good to begin with, quite the contrary. He knows and can translate between 102 different languages. But it is also more than a translator. It can also act as a mobile hotspot, which can save your life when you are abroad.
Buy: Langogo Genesis 2-1 AI Translator $ 199.99
5. Cedita language translation device
NOISE REDUCTION MICROPHONE
While translating between 55 spoken (online) languages ââand 15 different written languages ââis not as robust as translators like Langogo, the noise canceling microphone helps set this translation device apart from others. With four noise-canceling microphones, it helps isolate the voice it translates. This can be extremely useful when trying to talk to someone next to a busy road or in the middle of a street fair or market. The screen is also a large 3.1 inch panel that reverses so you can hold it quickly and the other person can read it.
Buy: Alcorrect Voice Language Translation Device $ 279.00
6. Lincom language translation device
With over 138 ratings and 4.7 stars on Amazon, it’s one of the most reliable and accurate translation devices you’ll find online. It translates 107 different languages ââand recognizes 43 for photo translation. The translator is also moderately priced, coming in at around $ 100. If you are going abroad, this is a good choice for your translation needs.
Buy: Lincom Language Translator $ 99.78
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