One of the biggest problems travelers face is communication. Sure, we’re cosmopolitan people of the world. We’ve been around. We’ve learned bits and pieces of other languages. Maybe we’re fluent in a few and speak a smattering of a few others. Still, there are over 230 living languages spoken in Europe alone. When it comes down to it, there’s only so much language we can hold before we start to run out of space. Enter Lingvosoft, a New York-based software company. The product is their Translator line which they sell either one language-to-one other language at a time or in a so-called “ultimate” pack of English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.
Lingvosoft Translator runs on a number of different platforms including Windows, Palm, OS, and the one I experimented with, Windows Mobile. In the past we’ve done review of Pocket PCs like the Intermec CN3 and the AT&T Tilt . These are my devices of choice for this sort of software because they tend to be powerful, portable, and have decent mini-keyboards.
What it does
The essence of the Translator software is simple. You type what you want to say and the computer/phone/device translates it into the other language on the screen in much the same way as you might see when using Google Language Tools. Once we’ve looked at that, we get to the good part. Once the translation is complete, with a button press, the software will say the translated text aloud. Now we’re not talking Don LaFontaine. We’re talking the Steven Hawking synth type of voice. Still, it can get through the translated text and do it comprehensibly which is more than I can say of most people.
When installing this software, one thing I immediately noticed is the footprint. I installed a single language, Spanish and needed over 16MB of space. While this is not a huge amount of data by modern standards, in the portable world it’s a pretty hefty chunk of space for a single application. Still, if you’ve invested in your 8 or 16GB microsd card, there shouldn’t be many concerns about space here. The installation itself took a good deal of time and didn’t run as smoothly as I would have liked. In fact, I had to download a zip of the program and install it manually. There were several points during the install when I thought my phone had frozen, but I stuck with it and eventually the install completed successfully.