Do you like to travel a lot, but don’t speak any language other than your own? Well, don’t let that stop you! There are so many different ways to talk to people in a different country without knowing a word of their language. A popular choice today is an instant translator device. But should people get one? And more importantly, why would anybody need to have one?
The question might sound odd, but buying a portable translator does cost money. And just like with any device, there’s no guarantee that it would work.
Of course, most handheld translators work fine enough, but there are so many choices out there. One-way devices, two-way devices, online, offline, big, small, white, black… There are quite a few gadgets to choose from.
But our focus isn’t the “what” right now — it’s the “why.” In other words, here is a list of reasons anyone should consider buying a real-time translation device.
Reason #1: It Saves Us Time
Let’s say that we don’t buy a gadget, but install an app instead. Apps are usually free, they work with our smartphone, and they don’t take up too much memory. In addition, they have voice recognition. Seems like a good option, right? Effective AND free of charge — what could go wrong?
Well, apps need to be set up, and our phone needs an Internet connection so that we can use them. Once we have no Internet connection, the app can’t work properly, and we’ll have trouble translating anything. Also, expert linguists don’t have a particularly great opinion about translator apps.
But most importantly, setting up and using an app in real time…well, it takes time. We need to fiddle with our phone non-stop before the person we’re talking to can even say a word.
That isn’t the case with portable translators. They usually have the microphone right there, and all we need to do is point it at the person and let them speak. It’s that easy. Sure, we have to set up the basic and the target language, but we can do that in mere minutes before actually going out and using the device.
Also, we can’t forget that we have to unlock our smartphone and find the app manually before we can use it. Instant translators? It’s quite literally ‘take it out, push a button, talk, and let it translate.’
Reason #2: It Works for Basic Travel Issues
We’re in a foreign country, and we’re getting hungry. The problem? We don’t know what they serve in the restaurant we see in front of us. We can either guess or use the translator to ask someone. Even better — we can just enter the restaurant and ask the waiter using the translator.
But that’s not all a portable translator can do! Dozens upon dozens of these devices come with photo recognition options. We take a photo of any text and let the device analyze it. Once it does, it will translate the text into our own language.
That’s quite an advanced option for a device that’s as small as an MP3 player. So, if we see a menu, we only need to take a quick pic of it, and the translator will do the rest.
It’s not just restaurants where we’ll find all of that useful, though. Markets are also a good testing ground for translation. We can see which fruit and vegetables are to our liking and analyze the prices. The same goes for supermarkets, huge malls, street stalls, etc.
Of course, we can’t forget to use the device in other official establishments, such as banks, exchange offices, hotel lobbies, or even police stations. There is literally no environment where we can’t use at least the basic functions of a translation device.
Reason #3: Buy One, Get 40+ Free
Most of these devices hold tens of languages. Muama Enence, for example, can translate over 40. Imagine having just one gadget you can take around the globe and use almost anywhere.
At a mere push of a button, we can converse with people who speak German, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Swahili, Arabic, Polish, Vietnamese, or Hindi. Really, the only language we might not use a translation device on is sign language.
Some translators do offer only a few language options, but even those have frequent updates. We should mention that those translators are usually from the first generation, so you can get them at a low price online.
Reason #4: They Do More Than Translate
Yes, the primary purpose of a translator device is, intriguingly, to be a device that translates. It’s a tool specifically designed to be on the road, for people to use outside in crowded public areas.
That’s all fine and dandy, but quite a few people are using handheld language translators for a different purpose. Namely, they use it to learn a new language.
When you think about it, that’s quite a sound idea. The translator already has everyday words and phrases installed. With enough practice, anyone can learn how to use the basics of a language, not to mention that it’s a cheaper option than taking private lessons. Oh, and it saves us a lot of time we’d otherwise spend taking a course.
Of course, we can’t expect to learn an entire language from a handheld device alone. But it’s perfect for knowing the A1 level, at least.
Reason #5: They Work for More Than Just Travelers
This point is probably the single most important on the list. Yes, travelers will definitely reap the most benefits from using a translation device, but they aren’t the only ‘target audience’ here. So let’s focus on a few different occupations and see how a portable language translator can contribute to them.
Any businessman or businesswoman can put a portable translator to good use. If, for example, we’re in a meeting with international board members, we’ll understand them firsthand without needing an interpreter. In addition, we’re showing them that we’re ready to talk to them directly and that we’re willing to use the best tech out there to do so. That’s always a plus and something that could definitely boost future business ventures.
That’s right — even English teachers can use this device frequently. For example, they can take it to class and have students speak into it. That way, they will get to practice a bit more and engage in interactive learning.
At the moment, language translation tech still isn’t good enough to be used for medical purposes. However, scientists are looking into the possibility of using it in the future.
If we have a doctor and a patient who do not speak the same language, a translation device could help them both out. The patient could let the doctor know what’s troubling them, and the doctor could provide an accurate diagnosis. A high-tech language translator device could literally save lives in the near future.
Law Officials, Firefighters, Spec-Ops, Etc.
We’re lumping all of these occupations in the same group because a translation device would help them all in the same way, i.e., it would help them maintain peace in a multilingual environment.
Imagine being a cop or a firefighter in a mixed neighborhood. A few families are from Panama, a few from Beijing, two from France, that one guy from Brunei… That’s a lot of language barriers. But in case of an emergency, it would be quick and easy to whip out a translator and give directions to others on the spot.
Those are just some of the reasons everyone, you included, should look into getting an instant translation device. There are quite a few good ones out there, out of which most would suit anyone’s taste.