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By Alan J. Pierce EdD
pierceaj@techtoday.us
Providing Classroom Resources on New & Emerging Technologies
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Lingolet One Language Translator Review (MSRP $99.00)

     Because of the Covid-19 Pandemic at this very moment the last thing you are probably thinking of doing is traveling to a foreign country. When the pandemic ends many of us will once again resume exploring other countries. This review covers a physically small language translator and with the Covid-19 pandemic ongoing I had to be quite creative in finding ways to test its language translation skills.
     With YouTube running on my computer I searched for shows in different languages with English subtitles. I set Lingolet to the language of the show and toggled the play pause button on my computer so I could compare the captioning on my computer screen to the verbal and written translation that Lingolet created. The phraseology was not always identical but the verbal message was very accurate. To test its transcription ability I pressed its record button and let it record the audio for a few minutes and then compared its transcription to what I read in the English subtitles of the show.
     Lingolet is powerful, physically small in size, and quite reasonable in price. See photo 1.
It is capable of handling quick unlimited translations between twelve languages. Without any additional cost each month you get 1000 hours of artificial intelligence that can turn Lingolet One recordings into translated transcripts. To go beyond the 16 hours a month or to use its live human translation service you do need to pay a subscription fee of $49.90 per month. For human translation/transcriptions the fee is $49.00 per month plus $1.89 per minute.
     Lingolet can handle twelve languages. Your primary language can be Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, or Thai. Once you select it you only need to select which language you need to understand from the same list. Lingolet is then ready to translate what it hears so it can serve you and the person you are speaking to as your personal translator.
     To get started you need to download the Lingolet One app from the Apple app or Google play stores. You link Lingolet with your phone using Bluetooth and you control what the translator will do using the app. With the volume turned way up on your smartphone Lingolet is ready to do its translations out loud at a high volume. At the same time it will also transcribe the text of the two languages on your smartphone screen. If you touch one of these transcriptions it will repeat out loud the recorded translation. Finding a bathroom in a foreign country might be important so I asked Lingolet to do the verbal and written translations in a number of the different languages so you could get a better idea of what the transcriptions look like. See translation photos.
     My impression is Lingolet could be very effective in a foreign country or here at home when you are talking to someone who can best express themselves in their native language . That said we all need to say a prayer that the medical profession will soon be able to quickly get control of Covid-19 so life can go back to normal. Hope you and your family remain safe and healthy in these trying times.

Reasons to Drool
     Its battery can give you about 10 hours before it will need to be recharged. I was also very impressed with its translation and transcription abilities and the number of languages that it could handle.

Not So Cool
    I found that I needed to fully control the volume level using my smartphone because of a volume control button issue on the unit. I have been told that their programmers are now working on fixing this problem. A tiny light blinks on for a split second after being dark for 5 seconds to tell you the unit is turned on. When in recording mode this light stays on. It is easy to miss seeing the slight flash which could easily cause you to leave it turned on when it is not in use. This would drain its battery. It would be a better design if the light was always on when the unit is on and it would flash when you are creating a recording to be transcribed by Lingolet One’s AI. To erase the translations you need to do them one at a time. I feel that an edit button on the Lingolet One app to select transcriptions so you could choose a few or all of them at the same time would improve the app.