12-language Speaking Global Translator
(TGA-490) by Franklin
This Speaking Global Translator comes in a box with tiny user’s guides in six languages, a battery charger cable, USB Cable, and stereo ear buds. Functions included are; written and spoken language translation to and from Chinese (Mandarin), Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish, an MP3 player, voice recording, currency and metric converter, and local /world clocks. There are also some basic games.
The 12 Language Speaking Global Translator is black, slightly larger than a deck of cards and has a full keyboard hidden under the large LCD screen with keys to operate the unit. At first look it seems be easy to navigate with icons surrounding the screen and an enter button with four pointers for selection of your actions.
Once turned on I found the screen to be dark with low contrast. After a quick look at the English user’s guide I was able to choose English as the “translate from” and Spanish as the “translate to” choices. Later I also used English to German.
I first opened the Translate Screen. This gave you an area to type in English using the keyboard. I typed a phrase in English and pressed enter. At this point the dictionary came back with a list of choices using only the first English word in my phrase. I decide to take another look at the manual. WOW this function only translates one word at a time. There go my thoughts of typing in “What is the best way to boil a chicken.” in English and having the Spanish words come out of the speaker. I guess that kind of translator is far in the future. This function might help you read signs and maps or to get a quick idea what one or two words mean.
I moved on to the phrase translator. This is much like the little phrase books you buy that gives you key phrases in English with the written translation in the language of the country you are visiting. The categories are; Conversing, Dining, Emergencies, Food Shopping, General, Health, Hotel, Pleasure, Shopping, Time, Travel, and Weather. Of course I went right to the “Pleasure’ group. I thought the translation for “It was wonderful.” might be useful in some circumstances. Another phrase “Red Light District” might be problem for me as I am spoken for.
The Voice recorder worked well and was clear on playback. Message deletion was easy. The MP3 player was OK but could not hold many songs. Connecting to my desktop using the USB cable worked well to copy a song. The included ear buds fit well in my ear and the music played back fine.
The calculator requires you to input the current rates of exchange for the money of the country you are visiting. Other calculator functions like weight or liquid have a formula above the area where you do the work to help you fill in the equation properly
Overall the Phrase Translation part of this product seems to be comprehensive. I found the Spanish words were easy to understand when spoken but the German voice was not. I think the best use for this unit is to help you to learn how to pronounce the words when speaking to a resident in the language of the country you are visiting. I feel it would be impolite to look up the phrase and play it back for the person. Thinking of doing that brings the phrase “Ugly American” to mind. If you want to learn a language you need to look elsewhere. It is a neat gadget. I still hope for audible-typed-phrase-translation in the future.
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