Great Gadget: The ECTACO 126-Language Translator

June 22, 2012 by

The ECTACO XM500 Multilingual Translator

For the world-weary traveler who may already know half a dozen languages and barely has room for more — or, more to the point, for the multilingual globetrotter who only knows a few key phrases from each of the lands she’s visited, ECTACO has just the ticket.

The tech company already known for its translation software and gadgetry recently introduced the XM500 multilingual translator, fully loaded with 126 languages (see here for the entire list) and the ability to translate between any given two at any given time.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

While we’re certainly fans of phrasebooks and good old-fashioned learning, for a traveler on the fly (and, particularly, in a bind), the XM500 is likely $180 well-spent, simply for the fact that it speaks its translations out loud through text-to-speech (“TTS”) technology.

Its small LCD display fronts the talking dictionary which, in addition to its look-up application, features a world clock, currency and metric converters, phonetic transcriptions, and even word games to aid in the (hopefully) eventual mastery of any of the languages in which it speaks.

Whether it’s “Where’s the bar?” or “Where’s the embassy?” — for those in need of a smidge of assistance, this digital Henry Higgins is likely worth the investment.

Languages of the World Map via Wikimedia Commons


Photo credits: ECTACO and Wikimedia Commons

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