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Electronic Language Translators and Dictionaries can help you on your trip - really!

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Nowadays Electronic Language Translators and Electronic Dictionaries have come of age. Latest developments make them of practical use when you travel abroad, even in countries where you can "get by" in the language - I speak French and German, and I know that when I first get there I'm a bit rusty to say the least. Usually, it's the vocabulary that I forget (then kick myself when I find out!).

Ectaco Itravel 19 Talking translatorWhat's New In The Latest Electronic Translators

For me, the BIG new feature that really knocks you out the first time you hear it is the translator with two-way audio translation capability. Select your situation, speak what you want to say into the translator, and out comes the translation spoken by a native speaker - shades of Star Trek!

Now this could be pretty weird and wonderful, like those translations you can get on the internet, but the reports are that, thanks to the huge memory capacities available and faster processors etc., these things really work, even in Chinese, which is a tonal language!

Where And What To Buy

I had a look round, and as far as I can see Ectaco, Inc. develops the best electronic multi-purpose dictionaries and translators (that's why we have an affiliate deal with them and you can buy them via our site). Recently they were featured in PCWorld magazine and received the Innovation Award for Design and Engineering.

They make dictionaries in more than 20 languages and in various price categories, suitable for business travellers, tourists, students, etc. etc., but in my view the ones you should be checking out are their iTravel range; they're the ones that featuring real human voice output as recorded by native speakers, with an extensive database including up to 1,000,000 words and more than 14,000 travel-related phrases depending on the language (and they're expandable and customizable). You can have several languages all in the one device, too.

iTravel_logoHere's a direct link to the iTravel section (opens new window), there's a lot more detail there.

Make your trip easier - you have no idea how much help you can get from a tiny handheld device. I guarantee you'll be as amazed as I was.


One thing to be aware of

Although they sell these Ectaco translators all over the world, and have service offices in the UK and other countries, all service, warranties and repairs have to be carried out in the US (their main office is in New York). So your device has to be returned to New York for service. If you buy online they will ship your product directly to you, and you then deal directly with them, so it's something to be aware of. They do have a lively online support forum which is quite active and on the whole people seem quite happy with the level of support: http://www.ectaco.com/forum/.

You can also get their software to put on your own pocket device, provided it uses Palm OS, Pocket PC or Windows CE as an operating system. See the list below or check it out in one of the stores.

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