If it was up to Hollywood, a universal language translator would have been around for a long time. Unfortunately, a Star Trek-like device doesn’t exist yet so communicating with aliens won’t be for tomorrow. But if you’re just wanting to talk to earthlings speaking another language, we have good news for you!
What is a Universal Translator?
According to Wikipedia, a universal translator “is a device common to many science fiction works (…) the translator’s purpose is to offer an instant translation of any language. As a convention, it is used to remove the problem of translating between alien languages (…) Occasionally, alien races are portrayed as being able to extrapolate the rules of English from little speech and then immediately be fluent in it, making the translator unnecessary. While a universal translator seems unlikely, due to the apparent need for telepathy, scientists continue to work towards similar real-world technologies involving small numbers of known languages.”
Star Trek, Doctor Who, Men in Black… all have used a universal translator to talk to extraterrestrial life. And while jet packs, laser guns and teleportation portals are not a thing of the 21st century, a universal translator might be the closest thing you could come to own straight out of a Sci-fi movie.
Better known as a pocket translator, this device can translate more than 100 languages nearly instantly. No telepathy required.
How Does a Pocket Translator Work?
A pocket translator is usually the size of a small phone (remember the time when phones were actually small and fit in our pocket?) From the pocket translator’s screen, you’ll be able to select 2 languages – your language and the language of your conversation partner. From there, you’re good to go. Start talking and the smart translator will pick up what you say, translating it to your conversation partner’s language, through the use of various translation engines like Google Translate and Artificial Intelligence. This will then also happen vice versa, translating what your conversation partner says back to your language.
Sounds like something you could use on your next trip? Check out the world’s most sold pocket translator here: Travis Touch Go
And who knows, maybe the next update will include an alien language.
Hol barriers DaH Doch qa’ jIH.*
*That’s Klingon indeed.