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Seiko Instruments Quicktionary
Pocket Translator
by Jim Bennett (August 1998)

Where was this product when I was an automotive executive traveling, living and working non-stop for years, all over the world? With all the different countries I traveled to, the seemingly endless language courses and the 12 hour days over there, this handy gadget would have been helpful when my brain was "begging" for relief.

Seiko's little high-tech wonder, the Translator and Quickitionary, is a remarkable "scan and see" translator that contains more than 400,000 words and idioms. And it really works! It's currently available in Spanish/English and French/English and additional languages will be available, in the near future, such as Arabic, Dutch, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean and Russian.

I evaluated the Spanish/English unit and tried to test my memory of the language. With all those Spanish courses I was subjected to, I should have done better, but the machine won. This machine was quite useful and performed flawlessly. Living in Southern California, I found Spanish speaking individuals, and this unit was very helpful in having many friendly discussions. The problem I had is that they were so impressed that it was difficult to get my unit back from them.

While I covered the Asian financial crisis earlier this year, I could have really used the Asian language editions of this remarkable tool to help review Asian business documents. I hope to be reporting on the usefulness of the other additional languages, as they become available, when I field test them in conjunction with foreign assignments. The only problem I see is that the unit should have removable modules to accommodate additional languages. Currently, trips to multiple countries require separate units which are bulky and easy to lose.

I feel that this unit is absolutely required equipment for any business traveler, vacationer or student who is not fluent in the major language of their destination country. Once you buy a unit, I can't think of a better reason to book an international trip and try out your new Seiko SII Quicktionary.

Pros
Innovative design
Compact form factor - easy to carry
Ease of use
High word recognition
Performs remarkably well
Compact and useful operations manual

Cons
Only single language, should have removable language modules

Copyright 1998 Jim Bennett All rights reserved.

   
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