This Device is one of the best language translators that functions as if it’s come out of a high-tech sci-fi novel. And it’s finally here, available for purchase.
Before travelling somewhere new you probably always try to find the best translator app for your phone, just to be safe. Ili is an intelligent language translator that can translate the words you communicate in as little as 0.2 seconds and say they right back at you in another language. More specifically, it translates English into Japanese, Chinese, and Spanish.
Probably the best part of this smart gadget is that it doesn’t require the internet connection to function properly. So you don’t have to fall nearby McDonald’s for the free Wi-Fi to be able to communicate with people.
The device is also loaded with tons of common phrases that are typically used by travellers to make as little mistakes as possible while translating. In detail, it will be perfect for your typical tourist journey packed with shopping, asking for directions, dining, and so on. If you are traveling for business purposes then, unfortunately, you’ll have to brush up your foreign languages knowledge.
As we already said, Ili translates only one way from English to Chinese, Japanese, and Spanish. The choice of one-way translation is actually intentional. It has been recognized that a two-way communication would prove to be complicated. If you think of it, that’s true. You need to spend as much time as possible traveling the country and not be held with unnecessary back and forth dialog. Yes, it does sound like a translator straight out of a science fiction novel. It has been making a buzz for a while and now you can have an Ili for yourself.
So make sure you get one and go out and explore your dream destinations knowing that you won’t be alone. Ili will be there to cover your back.
The Ili is a hand-held translator. I’ve written about it before, but the short version is that you speak into it, and it says what you said in a different language. This is one of several such devices coming to market, but it’s the first I’ve gotten my hands on.
What makes Ili different is you don’t need your phone or an Internet connection at all.
There’s not much, physically, to the Ili. It’s a little shorter than your average smartphone, roughly 1/4 as wide, but a bit thicker.
There are three buttons. The power button does what you’d expect. You have to catch hold the large button on the front to listen Ili what you say and it automatically translate. Tapping it again will repeat the phrase it just spoke. The third button repeats back what it thinks you said, in Ili’s voice. If you want to switch the Ili’s 3 languages you need hold down that last button: Spanish, Japanese, and Mandarin.
Here’s a quick video I made using Ili with Mandarin. Ni hao!
As you can see in the video, it definitely works. That in itself is quite a feat, really. It works quickly, too, which I wasn’t expecting. It’s just a bit longer than your brain would normally expect for a conversation, but it’s fast enough that no one is going to be staring at you wondering why you’re fixated on a small, white remote control.
It’s important to keep in mind there’s no such thing as “real time translation” yet, despite what Google says. We’re still not quite there for the Star Trek-style Universal Translator that just speaks in your language while someone else is speaking. It’s sentence by sentence right now, gives or takes a few sentences. No translator is meant to tell your life story. Mostly it’s for asking for the bathroom. The Ili does that and a lot more. It’s positioned as travel-centric, but I threw a lot of random phrases its way and it did pretty well. Maybe it can’t translate random medical conditions, but just about anything a traveller would need should be covered.
It’s not in the earlier video, but I also raced Ili and Google Translate going from English to Mandarin. They mutually were nearly the same on short sentences, with Translate having the edge on longer phrases. Since Google had the advantage of an Internet connection, this is actually rather impressive.