As the summer months approach, I’ve had a lot of customers calling to plan their vacations. Europe and Asia are the most common destinations, and there have been many inquiries about translators to recommend. I’ve done some research, and found this translator with a lot of capabilities and a low price.
In the major European cities, you can easily get around as most “city” Europeans also speak some amount of English. Language translation becomes more of a challenge when you get off the beaten path. Trying to maintain an awkward balance between learning enough of the language to get by, and hoping that the locals speak enough English to help, can be a drain on any traveling experience. This neat little gadget from SVAT (12 Language Speaking Translator) can alleviate a lot of the stress involved in trying to communicate your message accurately.
I’ve always found it frustrating trying to flip through some phrase book, and then stumble through pronouncing words I’ve never even seen before. The Talking 12 Language Translator helps you accurately and efficiently circumvent this problem. The best part about the device is that it actually will speak the text that you enter for translation. The speaking electronic dictionary is equipped to translate 12 different languages: English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Russian, Dutch, Italian, Portuguese, Swedish, Japanese, Chinese (Mandarin) and Turkish. One thing I really like about this particular selection is that this assortment of languages covers pretty much all of the global regions.
We’ve seen the evolution of translators over the past 20 years, and many of us have experienced the comedic and embarrassing results of the older translation models. However, because the translator ‘knows’ (and can speak) 700 select phrases for each of the 12 languages, you won’t have to deal with that experience again. The phrases are conveniently categorized into 8 groupings: General, Emergency, Entertainment, Sightseeing, Direction, Restaurants, Transport, and Hotel. I’ve found these designations to be helpful, but I am guessing that depends on your own personal preferences. The only frustrating thing that I found about this model is that you can’t enter your own specific phrases. It’s a little bit of a hassle, but I don’t think it’s worth paying the extra $150 for a model that does.
In addition to its translating capabilities the SVAT dictionary comes equipped with a phone book, and a world time daily alarm clock. The LCD screen is also nice and big. Depending on where you look, you can find this SVAT speaking translator for as low as $49.99, making this one-time investment definitely worth it for those who plan on traveling frequently, for long periods of time, or to a myriad of destinations.
I hope this answers some of your questions.
Although this translator seemed like the best value in terms of features and price, there are many other talking translators available:
Lingo Compact 12 Language Talking Translator ($69.95)
National Geographic 10 Language Talking Translator ($180)
Etaco East European languages Talking Translator ($450)
“Ted on The Travel Desk”
Ted Phelps, Customer Travel Consultant