As a businessman, I have to travel abroad quite often. Back in the day, I used to go alone, but since a few years ago, my wife started accompanying me on quite a few business trips.
Now, I speak several languages, but my wife doesn’t. For her sake, I purchased the SSK Smart language translator device . It was probably my best investment yet.
Learning languages takes time and effort . And honestly, not everyone is apt for learning them. My wife has always had trouble acquiring a second language, all the way back to middle school, in fact. And even after we signed up for private Spanish lessons, she couldn’t keep up.
Of course, she doesn’t think too much of it because she only really needs English for her day-to-day activities. But like me, she loves to travel, which is why she continues to join me on trips abroad to this day.
Now, in most countries, a lot of people speak English to some capacity, or to be precise, roughly 1.5 billion people speak it. But there are some countries where English isn’t spoken, and sometimes, I get to do business there. The Middle Eastern nations, for example, don’t really have too many people who understand English.
It’s countries like those that ‘made’ me buy SSK Smart. But it wasn’t my first choice. Most people I know recommended other handheld translators the Muama Enence, for example. So I looked it over and, honestly, I wanted the option with more languages, so I ordered SSK Smart. Everything about it just ‘seemed’ right for the job. And for the most part, like 90% of it, I was right.
Later on, I’ll talk about my own experience with the SSK Smart. But before I do that, I’d like to provide you with some quick and helpful facts about the device.
Let’s start with the look of the device. I am a sucker for black-and-white gadgets, and SSK Smart just looks beautiful. An all-white body design with a black finish for the front buttons and the microphone all pop out at you every time you look at it. The translation buttons are on the front, the volume buttons on the side, and curiously, there’s a QR code in the back. More on that later.
Next, there’s the battery power. The SSK Smart can work continuously for about 3-4 hours. Its standby time, however, is a whopping 120 hours! Still, it does take two hours to charge, which is a bit annoying.
Now, the SSK Smart doesn’t work by itself. I had to download an app and install it on my smartphone. The next step was to scan the QR code and sync the device. I’ve heard people complain that their app failed to recognize the device, but it worked fine for me the first time I tried it.
While I prefer that my translator works on its own, there’s a reason SSK Smart needs a smartphone connection. Namely, this device can work with any translation engine out there. Those include Microsoft, Google, Baidu, and iFLYTEK.
The size of the device is also a plus. It’s barely larger than my smartphone, and it fits into my pocket perfectly. Of course, since my wife uses it more often than I do, she carries it in her purse, or to be more accurate, her purse pocket.
As small as it is, the SSK Smart supports 86 languages! Of course, a few of those are regional variations of the same language. It supports 15 types of Arabic, 13 types of English, 20 types of Spanish, two types of French and Portuguese, three types of Chinese, and four types of Tamil. In addition, it supports the following languages:
The best part about the SSK Smart language translator is that it has both voice and photo recognition. I can take a picture of a document in a foreign language, and the device will provide me with an accurate translation.
More and more translation devices are applying this feature — and for a good reason. It’s always convenient to take a photo of, for example, a street sign or a restaurant menu. That way, we don’t need to bother other people to translate huge chunks of text for us.
Earlier this year, I had some business in Saudi Arabia, in Jeddah. I had to stay there for at least a week. And since it’s a popular summer resort, my wife wanted to come along and see the sights. Considering how she struggled with Spanish, I knew that I needed to get her a translation device.
SSK Smart offers several variants of Arabic, including Saudi Arabian. Interestingly, the device came to our doorstep only two days before we had to take off. It was almost perfect timing — our first test was going to be directly in Jeddah.
During the day, I was busy working while the wife hit the beach or the pool. However, since she was alone in the hotel, I left the device with her. Based on what she first told me, the SSK Smart really helped her. She went grocery shopping with it at one of the local markets and had a blast talking to people. Oh, and she got all the right groceries.
In restaurants, we would use the device together. Most of the waiters were friendly and accommodating, so they talked into the device the way we instructed them. The device did work a bit slowly at times, but every translation came out right. If you’re looking for more of an instant translator, the Layopo works great. Although, it has fewer languages than the SSK.
Souvenir shopping was interesting because my wife had a chance to haggle with a local merchant. She loves haggling a better deal, and most Middle Eastern merchants haggle regularly. If I’m not mistaken, it’s part of the culture. And I have to admit — it was hilarious to watch them go back and forth with the prices.
When it comes to the pros, I have to say that SSK Smart is accurate and translates phrases well. I even tried the photo recognition feature, and it worked perfectly. The long battery life and the sleek, petit design only made me like it more.
But SSK Smart isn’t flawless. As I said, it was slow at times, and the battery charge time is a bit long for my taste. Also, I would like a translator that works without connecting to a smartphone. Offline translators offer a lot of versatility such as the Muama translator, and I just didn’t have that with SSK Smart.
Despite its flaws, SSK Smart is definitely an awesome device. If you like traveling and need a good handheld translator that works with any popular translation engine out there, I cannot recommend SSK Smart enough.
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