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Why They Matter
Instead of buying an additional translator to get another language pair or set of language pairs, you can just buy an SD card with the language pair or set of language pairs you want. This saves you considerable money.
How To Use
The instructions are pretty simple:
Pop out the existing SD card.
Pop in the new SD card.
Reset the device.
That last step is the one that many people miss, the first time. You must reboot the device by pressing the reset button. Note that this is not the on/off button, which controls the on/off only for the screen (it's a mobile device and thus always on). When you reboot the device, it scans that SD card and loads it into memory. Once it does this, the device is converted from whatever it was to what the new SD card makes it.
With any removable media, such as SD cards, USB sticks, CDs, DVDs, etc., you should always back up the contents. Removable media can inadvertently be corrupted, damaged, lost, or written over.
To back up an SD card, you need a card reader. Most new desktop and laptop computers have one built in. Just look for the slot on your machine to see if you have this. For older workstations and many mobile devices, you will need an external card reader. We just happen to sell those, so if you do not have one get a card reader now. You can use this for digital camera cards and other small media cards that come in a huge list of mobile devices.
These cards are simple and things seldom go wrong. But as you know, s*** happens. You might think we don't offer support if something goes wrong, because:
It's a low-priced item, and
Support? Ha! That's a laugh. Why do companies even bother to pretend?
But we are a little different here at Mindconnection (OK, a lot different). We don't make you fill out a form that goes to nowhere, and we don't send you e-mails you can't reply to. We'll help you troubleshoot, in real time if necessary, why your SD card isn't loading. Or if you have a question on how to make a backup copy because you're barely familiar with Windows, we'll explain how--on the phone, while you do it.
Why would we go to such lengths? Because:
Maybe if a few companies actually support the users of the products they sell, a new trend will emerge.
Even if other companies choose to outsource really bad service to India, we value our customers and will provide the best service we can to help ensure our customers have a good experience using what we sell. Even if that does take time.
These tips apply to pocket translators, in general. Some may not apply to your particular pocket translator. Some apply to any mobile device, even if it's not a pocket translator.
Keep your accessories in a zippered pouch. You can find a suitable one at any office supply store.
If you have SD cards or MMCs, keep them in a special case made for these cards. Put it inside your zippered pouch.
Generally, new accessories do not come out after the device has been on the market. But sometimes, they do. We carry the current offerings of accessories, so check this site to see what's available.
If your translator has an li-poly rechargeable battery, don't charge it for more than 6 to 12 hours.
If your batteries are alkaline, consider replacing them with rechargeable ones (pick up a charger and batteries at your local office store).
If your translator has multiple translation tools, use the simplest one for the task. For example, if you need to get a central idea across and it's really one word then use the translation dictionary.
If your translator has the full text translation feature, stick with simple noun-verb or verb-noun constructions. Reason: The device can't interpret idiomatic expressions. If you need to make an idiomatic expression, use the phrasebook (pretranslated sentences).
If your translator has a language teacher program, use this prior to taking a trip. It isn't necessary to complete the whole program, but if you learn some basics before taking your trip you can communicate much more effectively.
Most of the non-translation programs won't be useful to a particular person. What usually happens is different people like different things and so you're likely to find one or two of these programs exceptionally useful. Play around with the device a bit to see which of these best suit you.
As with most gadgets today, if it malfunctions reboot it. The button that turns the screen on and off does not turn the device on and off. The device has a reset button. This doesn't completely clear the memory, though. If a reset doesn't fix your problem, remove the battery(ies) and after waiting about 15 minutes put the battery(ies) back in and restart the device.
If the device has an SD card or MMC, pop it out, pop it back in, and reset the device.
Speaking with foreign language speakers.
Speak slowly and annunciate clearly. Americans tend to speak fast and run their words together, frustrating people whose first language isn't English. Leave a distinct pause between each word. Even if this seems idiotic to you, the other person will appreciate it.
Try to use correct grammar. Sadly, most Americans cannot pass a test of Standard Written English. Yet, this is the language that non-English speakers are taught. Mangled syntax and misplaced modifiers are especially confusing. When you use a word such as "only" use it immediately preceding the word it applies to. You don't have to be an English major to be understood, but you will be understood better if you brush up on your basic grammar.
Thank the other person. If the other person has learned enough English that you can communicate in English, say that you appreciate this. And do allow for the fact the other person's English vocabulary is nowhere near as large as yours.
While it might be exciting to go off the beaten tourist path, doing so increases your potential for trouble. If you have arranged for a guide ahead of time, this might not be a problem. But don't "hook up" with a friendly stranger who wants to help you see the sights.
Stay alert. If you like to go to bars or pubs, limit your consumption to just enough to be social. You can get snickered back at home much more safely than you can in a foreign country.