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How to choose an electronic translator

Amid the myriad devices, applications, functions, languages … the choice of electronic translator might be quite difficult. How should you know that this electronic device will suit you better than another one? How should you decide which translator is the best? How to choose an electronic translator without having the slightest idea about these mysterious devices? Don’t worry. You’re not the only one to have such a quandary. This short guide should help you decide which electronic translator you should choose.

Why do you need an electronic translator?

First of all, ask yourself a question: Why do I need an electronic translator? Is it because you travel a lot? Or maybe you’re in love with foreign languages and can’t resist learning new ones? Perhaps you have business partners abroad, let’s say… in China? I know from experience that communicating with the Chinese might be cumbersome. Or is your child having trouble at French or Spanish lessons? Or is it everything?

The question of purpose is an essential one. Tell us what you want to do and we’ll tell you which electronic device is the best for your needs.

If you need a translator to ask for a coffee in Paris or book a hotel in Rome, go for Vasco Translators. These cutting-edge inventions recognise your voice and will translate what you say into French or Italian – very useful as far as face-to-face communication is required.

They are also good to get what you want from your Chinese partners. Vasco Translator knows Mandarin and it will definitely help you.

If you want to help your children learn better, you can buy them a Vasco Dictionary, Ectaco Partner LUX, Trano T-22 or Comet Tablet. The first is just a simple electronic dictionary that can pronounce any word or phrase. It works off-line and blocks those distracting Internet functions that prevent your children from learning hard. Trano T-22 is also just an electronic translator. It is equipped with Oxford and Collins dictionaries and can translate full sentences. It’s good for learning, especially English. However, you can also use it to learn French conjugation or German pronunciation. Ectaco Partner LUX has even more learning functions, but also has a browser installed. Imagine what your child can do with that … but still, a very good device to learn foreign languages.

What languages do you need?

Secondly, you need to decide what languages are spoken in the destination you’re going to or what language your business partners use. Many a traveller has wondered if the Swiss language really exists or how many cases Brazilian has. And that’s not a joke! Please check Wikipedia before your flight, then you will know if you need an electronic translator that speaks Mandarin or Cantonese, Khmer or Malayalam. We do have such smart devices.

Nonetheless, the most popular languages are, of course, English, Spanish, French and German. These you will find in almost all our translators. More European and a couple of Asian languages are installed with Vasco Translator and Vasco Traveler. As you already know, these translators are perfect at communication.

Don’t hesitate to ask for a language whose name you can’t pronounce. Perhaps Trano T-22 has an add-on card with it. Was it Taijk, Takij or Tajik?

The more languages a translator has, the worse. Really? Well … not exactly. In case of Vasco translators, translation in all the available languages is as accurate as possible. Still, if you wish to learn, a bilingual Ectaco would have more material than a multilingual one. Don’t be afraid to ask us before you buy it!

What does voice recognition mean?

That’s a good question! If you don’t know, you’ll be surprised. This function is quite new. It allows a device to recognise what you’re saying … and the results are outstanding! Tell Vasco Translator anything you want and it will retrieve it without any mistakes. Pretty amazing, isn’t it?

And that’s not all. Vasco now translates what you’ve just said into Turkish or Polish. Try it in a Krakow restaurant and pretty Polish waitresses will love it. Use it in an Istanbul café and make the guys serving coffee smile.

This voice recognition function is gaining in popularity and apart from Vasco Translator and Traveler it is also available in Ectaco LUX and Comet V.

Does this translator need the Internet?

In all the above cases, the answer is yes. Voice recognition is still being developed, although we’ll soon have it off-line. But you do need a WiFi or a GSM network to use it. And only Vasco devices can automatically connect to a GSM network, so that you can use it anywhere, anytime, making it completely independent from WiFi.

Does the translator answer when I ask?

Well … yes and no. Yes, if you mean pronunciation. Yes, most of our translators can pronounce the translated text out loud. No, if you ask it how to get to Stockholm Arlanda Airport. It doesn’t know directions. It will just translate your question. But isn’t that what you’re looking for?

What about any additional functions?

Apart from their main functions (translating), electronic translators are also enriched with additional features. There are the aforementioned learning applications, there are pictorial dictionaries (the ones in which you see what “la testa” or “die Frau” looks like), there are professional dictionaries (the ones where you’ll find “reinforced concrete” or “kwashiorkor”) and there is a scanning function.

The latter is very useful when you need to translate your visa application or a letter from an old friend from Argentina who can’t utter a word in English.

Currently, we have only Ectaco Deluxe and PRO versions equipped with a handheld scanner or Quicktionary TS Premium, but it’s just a dictionary.

So what’s GPS navigation?

Ah … yes. I almost forget. Vasco Traveler Premium has been designed in such a way that your journey is a pleasant one. It can recognise voice and translate full sentences just like other electronic translators, but it can do even more. It is equipped with accurate GPS navigation, off-line guidebooks on the world, databases of emergency numbers and embassies, SOS function and much more. This device would be best if you’re a traveller. And it doesn’t matter if you travel to Bath or Tromsø, you’ll find it very useful both on a motorway and off-road. Although, for the latter, I would recommend Vasco Traveler Solid. Just to be on the safe side.

Still, which electronic translator should I choose?

Add it all up, decide what you need it for, where you’re going, what languages you’ll be using and what functions you will need. In a nutshell – Vasco Translator for communication, Vasco Traveler for travel, Vasco Dictionary for your children, Ectaco, Trano or Comet for learning foreign languages, and Franklin if you’re a German speaker. If you still have some doubts, just give us a call. We’ll be more than happy to help!