What To Know Before Buying an Electronic Language Device

Cross-cultural communications are now much simpler with electronic language devices helping to bridge the language barrier for international business people and travellers. These devices are also assisting students of foreign languages by providing them with a range of tools to facilitate their learning.
These devices are also referred to as electronic language translators and dictionaries, or simply as e-translators. While all electronic language devices offer the basic functions of translation and a dictionary, some offer much more. Because of this, they can range from less than $100 dollars to over $700. So, before you buy, take a quick look at the different features available to help determine what you want and need in an electronic language device.
 

Languages Capabilities
Do you require a bilingual or multilingual device? If you intend on only using your e-translator for regular business trips to Tokyo, then a simple bilingual English-Japanese device is all you will need. On the other hand, if you want a unit to assist you as you travel across Europe, a multilingual device is more suited to your needs. However, keep in mind that the greater the number of languages a device is equipped to work with, the pricier it is likely to be.
 

Talking Versus Non-Talking Dictionaries
Non-talking dictionaries provide fast bi-directional (and in the case of multilingual devices, multi-directional) word translation as well as extensive databases of useful expressions and colloquialisms. In addition to these functions, talking electronic dictionaries also provide an audio pronunciation of the text, which serves as an added benefit to those wanting to develop their oral language skills.
 

Vocabulary and Spelling Checker
The larger the vocabulary capability of an electronic language device, the more useful it is likely to be, particularly if you will be using it for dealing with technical language like medical, legal and business terminology. If the device you like only provides basic general vocabulary capabilities, find out whether it has the capacity for specialist dictionary add-ons.
Since many foreign languages are not phonetic, you are bound to misspell many words that you type into your translator. For this reason, having a spell-checking function is essential.
 

Speech Recognition and Text Scanning Capabilities
Devices with speech recognition technology make speech-to-speech translation possible, saving you time and helping you to speak to the locals in their native tongue. Having a built-in scanner can also save you the time of typing in text, by allowing you to scan words and passages of text for translation, which is great for helping you to find the meaning of anything from bus timetables to newspaper articles while in a foreign land.
 

Travel Tools
Before buying, also check to see if the device offers any other functions you may need while abroad such as world clocks or calculators for currency and measurement conversion.

Must-Have Tools for Aspiring Photographers

Do you love photography? Would you like to get more serious about it but aren’t quite sure what you’ll need to do so? Decking yourself out with the right equipment is a good place to start. There are certain basic tools that every photographer should have. Here’s a brief guide to the bare essentials you will need to get started.
Camera
Invest in a basic digital single-lens reflect (DSLR) camera body. While these are bulkier than regular compact digital cameras, they provide better picture quality. Look for a camera that is well made and comfortable to hold. The camera should also have a manual override to enable you to adjust the focus, shutter speed and aperture to your own settings.
Try to find one with the largest image sensor and that provides the greatest picture resolution (measured in megapixels) for your budget but don’t go all out on a professional level camera just yet – you can always upgrade later. If you’re going to spend big on anything at this stage, you’d be better putting your money toward some quality lenses and accessories.
Lens
Different lenses are suitable for shooting different subjects. Macro lenses are used for taking close-up shots and wide aperture lenses are best for photographing panoramic scenes.
The first lens you purchase should be the one best suited to your current needs. So, if you are mostly taking close-up photos of flowers, you will just need a macro lens for now.
Lens Filters
Lens filters reduce the glare caused by reflective surfaces and the sun. They are also used to modify picture quality and increase colour saturation. With each lens you purchase, you will need to get an appropriate filter.
There are several varieties of filters and each has a different effect: • Neutral filters reduce the effect of bright lights • UV filters brighten an image • Warm or cool filters are used to alter a shot’s white balance.
Light Metre
An area’s luminosity is measured using a light metre. It helps the photographer to determine whether they need to modify the shutter speed, aperture or ISO setting. Using the reading provided by the light metre a photographer can make the necessary adjustments in order to capture a great shot even in darker lighting conditions.
Tripod
A tripod is a must-have for any budding photographer. Whether you’re trying to capture a stationary or moving subject, a tripod will help to prevent camera movement to ensure you take the sharpest photo possible. Alongside stability, tripods also provide elevation and support for heavy equipment such as telephoto lenses.
Since photography is an expensive hobby, it is better to slowly build-up your arsenal of equipment as your skills and knowledge improve.