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The electronic translator industry is currently experiencing a period of rapid growth. Manufacturers are innovating at an incredible pace and creating devices that make real-time translation not only feasible, but also, finally, almost as accurate as human translation.

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5 Things You MUST Know Before Buying a Translator

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Looking to buy a voice translator? Getting confused by all the portable translators on the market? It’s not surprising if you are. There are A LOT of pocket translators that’s come onto the market in recent years.

That’s a good thing, as you now have plenty of choice. You must also check what’s important when it comes to translator devices though as not all electronic translators are made equal. In fact, some translators on the market today are practically useless.

So, here’s a list of what to consider before purchasing a language translator device if you want a premium translator.

1. Pay Attention to the Price

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A low price tag doesn’t have to mean poor quality where instant translators are concerned, but often it does, if it goes below a certain price point.

Bear in mind that customs and taxes sometimes aren’t included in the price if buying online and shipping from overseas. Shipping costs also need to be considered.

The below things are things to consider when checking the price:

  • Speed of translation
  • Trustworthiness of the company and warranties
  • Accuracy of translation
  • SIM charges — do you have to buy a SIM and does it charge you to use the internet (i.e. roaming charges) when translating?
  • Usability — is the device easy to use?
  • Speed of delivery once ordered
  • Functionalities — how many languages does it translate? Can it translate text and voice, or just voice? Can it scan and translate text on images? Does it allow for several people, speaking different languages, to have a conversation, or is it just a one-way, or two-way translator? Does it offer any additional perks, such as built-in dictionaries, or the ability to translate medical terms, jargon, etc.? Is it a pocket translator, or do you need a bag to carry it?

2. Does It Cost to Translate?

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Sometimes the device is cheap, but using it is expensive. How is that? The majority of voice translators use online translation engines to translate voice and text. That means that you need wifi OR a SIM card using the voice translator.

While some translators come with built-in SIM cards, for others you have to buy them. What’s more, some have hideous roaming expenses, meaning every time you translate something it costs you, unless you’re connected to free wifi.

Some companies offer several real-time translators that come with built-in SIM and free internet usage in many different countries for life. Others offer offline translation, though usually its accuracy is limited.

Check the additional charges before you buy.

3. Does the Translator Work from Get-Go?

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Some translators you buy require you download software and may charge for software updates. Always check this with the manufacturer before you buy the translator.

Some companies even sell apps, not physical translators and mislead buyers who think they are receiving a handheld translator. Others sell a device that work in a similar fashion to a loudspeaker, that can then be controlled with an app on your phone (the app being the real translator). In addition to that, some apps have been reported to contain malware.

4.Who Manufactured It?

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Check the reputation of the company that manufactured the translator. Are they known for creating premium translators? Or are they a manufacturer in a far-flung country that has few online reviews? And what about shipping? Does it take a couple of days to receive your device once bought, or several weeks?

Beware that not all companies offer customer service - this is important if you have any problems with the device. So check that they have a dedicated customer service team and that the team speaks your language!

You will also want to have a close look at warranties and return policies — as always, read the fine print!

5. Read the Reviews

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While we can all agree that there are fake reviews floating about, they are usually a lot fewer than the real ones. If a company/device has a lot of positive reviews, then you’re safer buying from them than someone else.

Reading the reviews will also alert you to things you might not have taken into consideration— many forget to check additional features, such as if it has a noise-reduction microphone which is necessary if translating in busy environments.

By reading reviews you will educate yourself, not only to if a translator is good, but what functionalities you need.

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