Speech Technology Magazine

 

Talking Dictionaries

By Leonard Klie - Posted May 3, 2010
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>>>>> Business Problem: You’re scheduled to go on a business trip to Europe, but you don’t speak any foreign languages.  

>>>>> Technology Solution: A Talking Dictionary

Product: Franklin’s Merriam-Webster Speaking Spanish-English Dictionary
Delivery Method: Handheld device. | Pricing: $99.95.
Functionality: Franklin’s Spanish-English Dictionary provides users with access to 5 million translations between the two languages. It also provides dictionary definitions, an advanced verb-conjugation feature, a grammar guide to help users construct sentences, 600 travelers phrases prerecorded in a human voice, instant phonetic spelling correction, language-learning exercises, a built-in Rolodex organizer with a telephone book and world clock, a calculator, and a metric/currency converter. In addition, the dictionary is equipped with new touch-panel technology with active keys. The device measures 5-5/8 inches by 3-7/8 inches by 5/8 inch, and weighs 6.7 ounces. A book card slot provides access to a library of additional Franklin titles, and a PC connectivity kit (sold separately) allows for downloads of other references, e-book titles, and e-news from around the world.
Business Benefits: Franklin’s Spanish-English Dictionary is designed for all levels of language skill, from beginner to advanced, and provides clear, concise translations and definitions from Merriam-Webster. It gives special attention to the forms of Spanish spoken in Central and South America.
Contact: Franklin at 1-800-266-5626; www.franklin.com.


Product: Ectaco iTRAVL Alpine NTL-19WLD Talking 2-Way Multilingual Language Communicator and Electronic Dictionary
Delivery Method: Handheld device. | Pricing: $749.95.
Functionality: The Ectaco iTRAVL features 10 million words and phrases in 19 languages (English, Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Persian-Farsi, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, Thai, Turkish, and Vietnamese). It also includes an Audio Travel PhraseBook with speech recognition that translates and speaks 133,000 travel-related words and phrases in 15 topic areas using native-speaker voice narration and speech synthesis, an iHELP feature for instant access to emergency and frequently used phrases, the CIA World Factbook, and travel audiobooks. Additional features are hands-free voice navigation and a high-resolution touchscreen, a responsive virtual keyboard for each of the included languages, an MP3 player, language learning games, a metric converter, a world clock, a talking calculator, and a currency converter. The Ectaco iTRAVL comes in red, white, or black, and all content is included on a 1-gigabyte SD card. The device also comes with an AC adapter, headphones, USB cable, case, and bonus CD.
Business Benefits: Ectaco iTRAVL allows users to get more out of their business meetings and sightseeing, meet new friends, and deal with emergencies. Using a combination of speech recognition and high-definition recordings of authentic native speakers, iTRAVL understands what users say and offers a clear reproduction of the same words and phrases in whichever foreign language they choose. By simply speaking into the device, users will be provided with a real-time, intelligible response.
Contact: Ectaco at 1-347-728-1354; www.ectaco.com.

Product: H&H Software's HNHSoft Talking Phrase Books European Languages Pack
Delivery Method: Downloadable software for Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, Palm, and iPhone 
and iPod Touch devices. | Pricing: $59.99.
Functionality: H&H Software’s Talking Phrase Books European Languages Pack features more than 1,000 phrases in 10 major categories and 50 subcategories, all of which can be spoken back to users in high-fidelity audio by a native language speaker. Users can compose their own phrase books by selecting fragments from a list, search for phrases by keywords, and bookmark frequently used phrases in their own “Favorites” category. Phrase books included in this package are France2Go, Germany2Go, Spain2Go, and Italy2Go. 
Business Benefits: This product turns users’ PDAs or mobile phones into a language teacher and travel translator. Whether they are businesspeople, travelers, or language students, users will find this set of speech-enabled phrase books helpful. Each title includes more than 1,000 essential phrases organized into common situations users might encounter while traveling abroad. 
Contact: H&H Software at www.hnhsoft.com.

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