One of the most common challenges in traveling is the language barrier. When I found myself in East Asia pre-COVID, I used google translate on my phone for simple translations and help with directions. Last year, I attended the Travel and Goods Show in New Orleans and came across a booth called Pocketalk. Pocketalk is a two-way voice translator that utilizes the best translation engines around the world to provide a consistently accurate experience across 82 languages, including localized dialects and slang.

My review of Pocketalk

I recently traveled to Egypt for the New Years’ and I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to try out the functionality and worth the purchase.


Translating English to Arabic in Cairo

3 Reasons Why I Prefer the Pocketalk Over Google Translate

  1.  It has a built-in currency function. The currency tool was a great way for me to easily convert Egyptian pounds to USD. The currency convertor updates daily for the latest exchange rates and can convert up to 160 currencies. The best part is Pocketalk can determine your GPS and automatically tell you which currency is the one you need to convert. You don’t need to look up or memorize the currency abbreviation to find out the exchange rate. I used to have XE app installed on my phone for currency conversion but since I have Pocketalk, I have uninstalled it, and it’s one less app to have on my phone.
  2.  Pocketalk Saves battery consumption on my phone. Let’s face it, when you travel overseas, you’re constantly on your phone from social media posts, using a ridesharing app to using google maps for directions. Yes, I always bring a power bank with me to make sure my phone doesn’t die but having to use my phone for one less thing is better for me.
  3. Pocketalk prevents my phone from being stolen. Tourism is a huge global market and sadly, there are people who exploit and scam tourists in every country. Nowadays, the newest Apple or Samsung phones run easily over $1,000. Before using Google translate, I was giving strangers my phone with the benefit of the doubt that they will try to help. I’d rather have my Pocketalk S which runs at the moment at $299 stolen, than my newest Samsung S21 Ultra phone with all my personal information.

Overall Thoughts

Google Translate is free and I’ve used it numerous times in Asia but the translation isn’t always grammatically correct from my experience. I would have people scratching their heads wondering what I was trying to tell them. Luckily with Pocketalk, I didn’t have any issues with translating into Arabic. The compact size makes it easy to store in practically anything, your pocket, bag, backpack, or pouch. In addition, Pocketalk has a built-in camera to scan text. This helpful feature allows for reading food menus or signs easier. The simple intuitive design makes Pocketalk a great travel gadget for all ages and I’m looking forward to using mine on my next trip.

Pocketalk camera

Take a picture of signs or food menu for easy translation

If $299 sounds too expensive for you for a translator, Pocketalk is currently having a sale on their Pocketalk Classic for only $99. Also, it comes with a two-year LTE data plan that provides unlimited data usage in over 130 countries.