CCrane WIFI2 Radio

A Translator and Language Teacher in Your Pocket

Techstination feature for Monday, December 24, 2007

A translator and language teacher…in your pocket. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Pocket electronic language translators have been around for years. While simple translation dictionaries can be cheap…and somewhat useful for travelers… a company called Ectaco has focused on pushing the boundaries of what technology can do. It's iTRAVL has won a 2008 Innovation Award from the Consumer Electronics Association. It is a talking 2 way multilingual communicator. For instance, says Ectaco's Vadim Lubianitskiy…you want to find a bank in China….

"Where is the nearest bank? (Chinese) …and then you want to collect money. I want to withdraw one thousand U.S. dollars please. You see it writing in English. You see it in writing in Chinese (Chinese)"

The device can be ordered with specific languages installed started at about 430 dollars. A version with 9 languages installed sells for about 550 dollars….and more can be added…

"We have 56. So all you need to do is just switch this MMC card here, just take it out. Say you want English-Japanese, or you want English-Tagalog, all you need to do is just get another card."

The iTRAVL includes electronic Fodor's travel guides and language lessons as well. There is a bit of learning curve…but it can be worth spending the time. You can find more information at Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.