Review: Langogo, Pocket Translator

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In the book Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy the main characters are able to understand different languages by putting a small Fish call the babble fish into their ear. It is a useful plot device like the universal translator on Star Trek, but we haven’t quite gotten there yet with current technology. But a new device called Langogo gets us one step closer to universal translation, without having to put a slimy fish in your ear.

Langogo, bills itself on indiegogo as the “1st Pocket Translator and Global Wi-Fi”. 
Designed to handle life on the go, Langogo is your smart travel buddy for global traveling. Powered by AI, it is: 
Your language pass to 60 spoken languages 
Your 24-hour AI voice travel buddy 
Your global Wi-Fi hotspot in 72 countries 
Anywhere, anytime, travel and connect with Langogo.

First Impression

I turn down most requests to review products, but the Langogo seemed like it was worth a try. I took one with me on my recent trip to central Europe. To be honest, before I tried the device I was having second thoughts about volunteering to review it. Why had I agreed to one more thing to do as I was busy getting ready for my trip?

However, my first impression with the device was delight. It is a very simple device. You choose a language speak a phrase, it will transcribe the phrase in your language and then write it out  and speak it in the target language. 

Native Speaker Reactions

I needed to hear what native speakers thought of the device so I first tried it on our Brazilian college student. I translated something from English to Portuguese and she said, “That’s Portuguese from Portugal”. She was right, that was what I had chosen. I switched it to Brazilian Portuguese and she said it got the accent correct.

When we were in Hungary, I tried it on the person at the front desk and on our driver and both said it was understandable and the translation for the simple phrase I chose was correct. Our driver did add that by contrast Google translate “does not work very well with Hungarian” in his opinion.

Data

The Langogo does use a cell signal or wi-fi to do translation so don’t expect to have a conversation with the person next to you on the plane, at least without paying for the airplane internet.

Costs

Review: Langogo, Pocket Translator #travel #gear #translation #gadgetThe device is currently only sold on indiegogo here: Langogo.

The device cost $229 (currently discounted on Indiegogo) and is available through Oct 2018.

On the Indiegogo campaign, every backer is offered 2G data, which is about 1-2 years usage depending on how frequently you will use it, and you can use it anywhere in the world.

For the trial unit I was sent we needed to turn on the data plan, which for Budapest was $3.6 per day with unlimited data. It’s the same price for most of the European countries.

Improvements

One improvement I would suggest is that it would be good to be able to switch the source and target languages more easily. So for instance, click a button and switch from English to German, to German to English. This would aid in having a conversation with someone else. 

Conclusion

This is a very interesting device. It may not be the final solution to the problem of universal translation, but it is a pretty cool next step.

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by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast, and a co-host for This Week in Travel podcast.

2 Responses to “Review: Langogo, Pocket Translator”

Milano Larry

Says:

Take a closer look at how much they charge for data first!

Chris Christensen

Says:

Always a good idea Milano

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