Pocket Translators

Written by Ingrid Chen
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Pocket translators are designed with the intent to offer people a convenient alternative to pulling out dictionaries and phrase books when learning or trying to communicate in an unfamiliar language. Many devices are programmed with the top spoken languages around the world, and will translate between these languages. Multiple alphabets can be displayed on these devices.

Upon purchasing a pocket translator, the user should find an instruction manual and perhaps a reference card. Most devices come with a warranty, typically for one year. The small electronic device will also require battery power--three AAA batteries for example. Many pocket translators are designed like a clam shell so that the halves may fold shut and protect the keys, as well as protecting the device from accidentally powering up.

Using Pocket Translators

To use a pocket translator, a person must enter a word into the device on the small keypad, since the units are designed to be portable. Some translators begin to offer suggested search words before you finish typing, and cursor keys are used to highlight and select words. Pressing enter usually prompts the device to display the corresponding translation in the chosen second language.

Even with translators that boast a tremendous vocabulary, the device does not provide full definitions like a dictionary would. Therefore, a person may know one form of a word, but the word may not only be used as a noun, but a verb, or it may hold other meanings that make the word incorrect to use in context. Still, pocket translators may still be an excellent tool to keep handy, just in case.


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