A Buying Guide for Pocket Translators on eBay

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A Buying Guide for Pocket Translators on eBay

When travelling, a pocket translator can be an extremely useful tool. It allows understanding and communication of many of the common phrases that are used regardless of where a person happens to be. Some types of pocket translators translate all text that is typed or spoken into it. There is a pocket translator for almost any language available on eBay. Some translators, like the Nyrius LT12, even translate more than one language.

Those that translate more than one language usually translate the most common languages and romance languages. These pocket-sized translators have replaced the older phrase books and dictionaries that many people used previously. There are a few different types of pocket translators. There are phrase translators, translators into which one speaks, and translators into which one types a phrase. Before purchasing a pocket translator from eBay, there are a few things that should be taken into consideration, including which type of translator to purchase, the features that are needed, and finally, choosing the size and language of a translator.

Types of Pocket Translators

There are quite a few types of pocket translators. They run from the most basic types with only a few phrases and features to the incredibly advanced types with speech recognition and a wide variety of features. Most translators have a few common extra features, such as a calculator or a currency converter. Some of the more advanced translators contain more useful features.

Phrase Pocket Translator

The phrase pocket translator is less of a translator and more of an electronic phrase book. The user looks up a common phrase, and the translator displays or speaks the translation. These are very limited in their output and are usually only good for those who need to know the bare minimum of a foreign language.

Text-to-Text Translator

The most basic type of translator is the text-to-text translator. This means when text is typed into the translator, it displays the translation on the screen so that it can be spoken by the individual. There may be a phrase book already programmed into this type of translator. The text-to-text translator can come with any number of features, in addition to the ability to translate text into text. Most text-to-text translators do not take grammar into account, so although the phrase may be understood by a native speaker, it may not be grammatically correct.

Text-to-Speech Translator

The text-to-speech pocket translator allows a user to type in text, and then the device speaks the translation, allowing the user to hear it and possibly repeat it. This is helpful if a person is trying to learn a language and wants to hear it pronounced. Again, because it is a computerised translation, the words may be correct but the grammar may not be perfect. These translators also come with a few standard phrases as well as the ability to translate text into voice.

Speech-to-Text or Talk-to-Text Translator

There are also talk-to-text translators, meaning a phrase is spoken in one language and the translator prints a translation on a screen. This is usually used by more advanced users, such as frequent travellers who have a mild grasp on a language but need a bit of extra help. The speech-to-text translator is usually better with grammar than those previously mentioned. As with many of the previous generations, this translator contains standard phrases as well as the ability to record new ones.

Speech-to-Speech or Talk-to-Talk Translator

Another advanced form of pocket translator is the talk-to-talk translator. A person speaks into the translator, and the translator repeats what is said in a chosen language. This is one of the most advanced translators available because it is programmed with what are known as grammar algorithms. These algorithms help to define the grammar of a given language to ensure that the phrase or sentence is close to what is grammatically correct in that language.

Smartphones and Application Translators

Although not specifically a pocket translator, in 2012 during the smartphone craze, an application was invented to use the smartphone as a translator. These translation applications are speech-to-speech and use the same algorithm to generate translations that are as close to grammatically correct as possible. These contain a vast variety of other functions, which are extremely useful when travelling, including the ability to function as a phone, translator, and currency converter.

Generally, the more advanced the translator the more functions and features it contains. Many people do not need the vast variety of different features. Most of the more advanced features are for people who travel frequently to a variety of countries.

Features of a Pocket Translator

Aside from the translation features, some pocket translators perform other functions as well. Many of them have a speaker for voice. They also have calculators, currency converters, dictionaries, a thesaurus, and a common phrase book for the language that it translates. Many of the higher-end translators can convert more than one language. Each translator is a bit different in the features it offers.

When purchasing a translator from the popular auction website, eBay, it is important to first find out which of the features a user needs. If a user travels frequently to different countries, then a multi-language translator with a currency converter is something that they may need. If a user is someone who is only travelling to one country on holiday, then a single language translator may be best.

It is important to keep the person who is using the translator in mind when purchasing it. A person uses a translator if they need the features that it contains. One can search for translators with specific features on eBay. Even though a large number of features may seem necessary or nice to have, too many features that are not used may be a waste. There is no need for someone who is not going to be translating a language frequently to have the most feature-intensive translator.

Choosing a Language and Size of a Pocket Translator

The last two things that need to be considered when choosing a pocket translator are the language, or languages, and the size of the translator. If a person travels frequently, a translator with more than one language is more of a benefit than one that only translates into one language. So choosing a translator that contains multiple languages is advantageous. If it is only used for one language on a pleasure trip, choosing a translator that contains just one language is helpful.

A person may also choose a translator that translates one specific language if it is a language in which they conduct business often. If a businessman has mainly Spanish-speaking clients, then he may want a translator that only contains Spanish. Many of the translators available that only contain one language have a broader range of words and phrases in that language.

When it comes to the size of a translator, most pocket translators are just that: pocket-sized. When searching for the size that is needed, take note of the storage capacity of the pocket translator. Like computers, tablets, and phones, translators have smaller and larger storage capacities. If a translator is going to need to record phrases frequently, then a larger storage capacity is needed. If phrases are not going to be stored, then a smaller memory should suffice.

Finding Pocket Translators on eBay

Once the desired features of a pocket translator are determined, it is time to search for one. Enter the search terms into the search box on eBay, and hit search. A list is populated of all of the pocket translators matching the search terms. Say an English-to-German translator is needed, a person enters the terms "English-to-German pocket translator" into the search box, and clicks search. After hitting search, browse through the different listings to find the pocket translator that suits one's needs, then click on the listing. A description and other information about the listing is populated, like pricing, features, shipping and return information. This information is very valuable when finding a specific translator.

If there is no listing that is desirable, then try a different set of search terms. By modifying the search terms, one can find another set of translators that may suit a person's needs better. For example, instead of searching for "English-to-German pocket translator", search for simply "pocket translator". This broadens the search to include all of the listings under the terms "pocket translator" that eBay has available. By altering the search terms, the listings can either be made broader or narrower.

Buying a Pocket Translator on eBay

Once a pocket translator has been selected, a user selects the listing and reviews the information about the pocket translator. At this point in the transaction, a buyer can ask the seller a question if something is missing from the item description. Asking questions before placing a bid or making a purchase can clear up any confusion about the item description. Reviewing the seller’s payment, shipping, and return policies is also a good thing to do, just in case the item is not what you want. There is also a section of eBay that contains community questions and answers.

The online auction website, eBay, also keeps rankings for each of their sellers. A buyer can view feedback from other buyers about the seller, and they can see the seller’s star rating. This is valuable information about the trustworthiness of a seller. If a seller has a high feedback score and a high star rating, the chances of having problems with the seller are slim.


Purchasing a pocket translator on eBay does not have to be a confusing process. A buyer simply needs to be informed about how they use the translator, which features they desire, and their level of translation. If a buyer pays close attention to these factors, they are likely to purchase a pocket translator that suits their needs. Since there are so many types and varieties of pocket translators available on eBay, it is important to be able to narrow down the search pool so that the results that are displayed are relevant to the results that you need.

Many pocket translators have a variety of functions, including more than one language, grammar correction, and currency converters, which are all useful tools when travelling. Some pocket translators can even be updated, much like a person updates a phone or a GPS on the Internet. The purchase of a translator, although not difficult, can be difficult if a buyer is unsure of the translators available on the market.

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