By Andrew Liszewski
Having worked for many years with a group of Australians I can understand the frustrations when not everyone speaks the same language. The Phraselator P2 from VoxTec is designed to overcome any language barriers without the need for a human translator. It’s a rather chunky-looking PDA that can provide fast and accurate translations of spoken phrases in any language. And from what I can tell since it was developed for use by the US military it’s specifically designed for translating phrases to and from english.
Using a built-in microphone and speaker the P2 can translate what someone else is saying and then speak back your own response to them in their own language. It also has a touchscreen LCD display allowing you to choose from a list of phrases or common responses if you prefer that method instead. And unlike most PDAs the Phraselator is built to military standards meaning it’s extremely rugged and is completely dust, sand and waterproof.
It’s currently available directly from VoxTec for around $2,000 but at that price I think I’ll just stick with speaking very loud and waving my hands around when someone doesn’t understand me.