Regular readers will know that I am fascinated by electronic language translators and the strides they have taken in recent years. In the past year I have featured a few of the new breed of translator, which mostly come from China. Some have required internet connection but can handle basic business discussions by connecting to cloud services. Others have a remarkable onboard memory. All have an ergonomic advantage over just using Google Translate on your phone in that these dedicated devices are more appropriate to be handed from participant to participant in a meeting.
This, the One Mini, is the neatest yet – just 34g of quality aluminium and 10cm x 2cm x 1.3cm in size. It also has an interesting and unusual modus operandi. It works (online, not off) in 12 languages and, with its phone app to hand, will even provide surprisingly good live typed transcripts of the multilingual conversation in which you are engaged. For discussions of more complexity, you can patch in a professional translator at around $2 a minute.