Posted March 2004 by By Tanker Bob
On the road, all dressed up, but nothing
to say? Feel like one of the crowd after the Tower of Babel
Digital Media has just the thing if you happen to find
yourself out of your native language element. Their Audio
Translator provides over 40,000 words and 5,000 phrases
to help you master the international road.
Reader Pro 4.7 provides the underlying basis for the
translator. It supports rich text, a variety of fonts,
and embedded resources. The pronunciations execute from
icons in the display. Overall appearance and function proved
excellent. The entire program comes on a 32 MB MMC card
with ~700K free. Audio Translator automatically executes
upon card insertion.
Upon opening, the user must choose the
native language for the program. This controls the language
for the menus and help files. After that, you choose your
translation languages. English, Spanish, German, French,
and Italian will cover your European travels nicely, as well
as many other locations around the world.
After selecting the languages, you can
choose one of three ways to work. Phrases by category furnish
the most common approach for those familiar with printed
phrase books (see first illustration). You can also list
all phrases and words in one big list. Lastly, the user can
filter by keywords.
Handy phrases and fragments populate the
phrase list. Many parallel those in popular printed phrase
books, but MDM included many more. The list extensively covered
things you'd need on the road, plus a few.
Audio Translator includes digitized audio
to pronounce words and phrases on compatible devices. The
box and website include a list of supported PDAs. This includes
the Tungsten T3 on which I evaluated the program. Just tap
on the speaker icon under each word or phrase to hear it
pronounced. Game volume in Palm Preferences controls the
The digitized audio would never be mistaken
for a real person, but it generally furnishes acceptable
performance. PDA speed seems to influence the outcome. Initially,
I had significant trouble understanding the audio on my 400
MHz T3. I then slowed the program to 200 MHz using PXA Clocker
3.1, and the audio then caught most of the nuances in the
In addition to the pull-down list boxes
at the top of each screen, most displays sported the same
icons. The first icon jumps to a list of ebooks available.
In this case, these are the help file, translator, and software
license. The help on the card proved quite extensive and
detailed. The second icon goes to the initial language selection
screen, so you can easily make a quick switch as the train
crosses the border. One icon initiates a smooth scrolling
for reading through entries or the help file. Others allow
you to change the font and return to the previous screen
as a back button.
One capability accessed by icon gets its
own paragraph. Audio Translator can rotate the screen to
any orientation. This includes high resolution displays.
This operation proved smooth and well executed. Of course,
the T3 can rotate any screen 90 degrees, but Audio Translator
goes all the way around.
The translator works entirely off the card,
leaving only a preference file and a couple of a68k files
in RAM when exiting. It also leaves an entry in Unsaved Preferences
so that you don't have to start over each time. Overall,
the translator is unobtrusive and very well executed. As
an added bonus, the package provides a SD/MMC caddy that
holds up to six cards.
I found Audio Translator to cover an exceptional
range of words and phrases compared to even similar printed
phrase books. Its coverage of five languages makes it unique
and quite a bargain. The inclusion of digital audio pronunciations,
though not as clear as human recordings, proved quite useful.
Whether you are planning a vacation or travel for a living,
Audio Translator will more than fill your needs and does
so in style.
Audio Translator works on Palm OS, Windows
Mobile devices as well as Nokia 3650 and 3600.
Covers huge number of words and
Includes five common languages
Rotates screen four ways
Nice font selections
Good help on the card
Digital audio on supported PDAs
Both Palm and Windows PDA support
Sometimes hard to discern nuances
in digital audio
Digital audio needed to be slowed down for clarity on the T3
Web Site: www.goMDM.com Price: