The C4-series translator offers some basic translation tools. This section explains what they are and how they work. These tools help two people communicate, even though they don't speak the same language.
What it does not offer:
Full Text Translation. This feature means the two people can type their own random sentences. For this feature, you must step up from the mid-range into something like the iTravl.
Speech to Speech Translation. Such a feature does not exist. Maybe about the time ships from the Planet Vulcan are orbiting Earth it will be available.
"...the natural ways in which humans use language and the variable contexts of speech are extremely complex, so much so that programming a computer to truly understand us has been, and will for a long time remain one of the greatest challenges in all science."
-- David Wolman, Righting the Mother Tongue
Now, on to what it does offer
Dictionary (works in both directions)
Advanced word recognition allows you to find a word just by typing the first few letters.
MorphoFinder helps you find source words for English past participles, gerunds, and plural forms.
The "Slang lock" function allows you to toggle between "include" or "exclude" (lock in/lock out) slang in the dictionaries.
Pictured dictionary (for basic words, more info below).
English phonetic transcription.
Real human voice for the words in the dictionary in both languages.
Vector Ultima spell-checker.
The WordNet Princeton edition dictionary of modern English has over 70,000 head words and detailed explanations.
Phrasebook (works in both directions)
The audio phrasebook was recorded with professional native narrators. Consequently, it delivers superb voice output.
The "You may hear" function helps another person select an answer from a list of canned answers. For instance, having picked the topic "In a restaurant," you choose a phrase. The waiter wants to reply to that phrase. You then select the "You may hear" option listed in the restaurant category (there is such an option in each category). The waiter can select the answer from the list provided.
A "phrase" is usually a complete sentence. It's called a "phrase" out of tradition.
This device comes with:
1 year warranty.
Bonus & demo software. The bonus & demo software CD is just brochureware. Put a napkin under it, and it makes a great coaster.
The Spanish Electronic Translator Ectaco C4Sp
Comes complete. You don't need to buy any software or accessories to use this device. However, if you travel outside the USA you need some means of using your USA-style plug in a local receptacle. That's why we offer the AC Travel Kit.
Expandable. You can easily expand the C4 to incorporate more than 50 language combinations by adding iTravl-series SD cards (you get the dictionaries and phrasebooks, not the full features).
Auto Off function will shut off the C4 when it's idle (adjustable from 3 minutes to 15).
Powered by rechargeable battery (included), which is charged by an AC adapter (included).
MMC/SD slot for simplified content replacement and updates.
Interchangeable MMCs and SD cards allow you to add a variety of languages and linguistic content from Ectaco.
Currency and metric conversions.
English Dictionary. This is the WordNet Princeton Dictionary of Modern English, with over 70,000 head words and detailed explanations. It includes all of the typical dictionary information, such as part of speech, senses, tenses, synonyms, and examples of use.
World time and daily alarm.
A demo CD comes in the box. It's just that--a demo. Think of it as brochureware. You do not need a PC or any external software for you to use this device.
#1 Question about electronic translators
Question: "Can I talk into it and get the translation out? Some of your competitors claim they sell a product that can do this. In fact, it's the same model number you have."
Answer: Such a device does not exist. Our sticking to the facts on this issue causes us sometimes to lose sales to a competitor that is selling the same device but is apparently not very familiar with it. Maybe about the time the Enterprise makes its first stop at Planet Vulcan, such functionality will exist in a pocket sized device, and it won't cost more than, say, a median home in Boston.
Just to provide the electric power for the required processor resources means you'd need to haul around a battery that weighs more than your entire family, or you'd need a very, very long extension cord. For a more detailed answer, click here.
Why, then, are there so many claims that such a device exists? Because of a feature called speech recognition. This does allow you to speak into the device and get a translation, but you have to speak an exact phrase that is already in the device. An apple isn't an orange, even if they have some similarities.
Pocket translators aren't the only way to communicate with foreign language speakers. Here are some other methods, compared.
Smart phone apps. Sometimes, customers ask why they should buy a pocket translator instead of a smart phone app. It's a good question, because smart phones like the Android are awesome products. But then, so are pocket translators.
The iTravl and 900-series pocket translators have four translation tools, and most other models have at least two. The app is only one tool, and while it is helpful it's a debutante rather than a specialist.
A smart phonecan hold a translation app. Pocket translators are translation devices that also hold other apps.
Pocket translators work, whether you have a signal or not.
Pocket translators don't report back your location, and don't have a Subscriber Identity Module (SIM card).
You won't be barred from bringing a pocket translator into a secure location, because it doesn't have acamera.
Laptops. Yes, a laptop will run circles around a pocket translator if, for example, you want to crunch a big spreadsheet. But pocket translators have some advantages:
A mobile device is always on. You don't need to wait for it to boot up, as you do with your laptop.
A pocket translator fits in your pocket. Try getting your laptop to do that.
A pocket translator weighs quite a bit less than a laptop does.
With the pocket translator, you get the full functionality of translator programs, vs something pared down for laptop use.
The form factor of the pocket translator is geared toward translation, and that's not true of a laptop.
Human interpretors. If you thought getting a laptop into your pocket was tough, try that with a 150 lb person! A pocket translator has some other advantages:
You don't need to schedule a pocket translator to meet you somewhere.
You don't need to pay a pocket translator by the hour or buy it meals.
A pocket translator is a machine that provides exact translation. A human interpreter, well, interprets. So it's sometimes someone's opinion of what you meant to say instead of what you said.
Human translators have varying degrees of competency. Sometimes, they guess.
You will find translator industry jargon defined in our glossary. The last thing we want is poor communication!
If you still have questions, the fastest way to get them answered is to send us an e-mail at sales @ mindconnection.com (remove the spaces and paste into your e-mail client address box).
Mindconnection is an authorized factory dealer. We sell brand-new translators with a full one-year warranty. We don't try to pawn off stolen, counterfeit, or broken merchandise as new. Get the real thing, get great service before and after the sale. Buy from Mindconnection.
C4 Series SD-Cards
The Secure Digital (SD) card defines the device. For any given language set, that SD card comes with it (e.g., if it's the Spanish C4, the Spanish SD card is included--that's what makes it the Spanish C4). Use SD cards to add languages to your Ectaco C4 translator. The SD cards come in two-language versions and multi-language versions.
It's easy enough to use, but I realized only after I started using it that you can't type your own sentences into it. I ended up sending it back for another one that does have sentence input but it cost me more. The new one (iTravl) is more sensitive to lighting conditions, so some tradeoff there.