Pocketalk: Your No. 1 Travel Hack for Adventuring in Japan
By Christy Anne Jones
On April 30, 2018
Have you ever wanted to have the ability to instantly translate Japanese without dedicating hours of your life to stuffy textbooks? You’re not alone: language barriers are a tricky thing, and can make travelling an intimidating and sometimes stressful experience — especially in places like Japan where the existence of multilingual food menus at restaurants can be surprisingly scarce and where train systems can be mercilessly confusing for first-time travelers.
Wouldn’t it be easier if you had a clever little device that could let you verbally communicate with anyone at just the touch of a button?
Well, dear traveler, your polyglot dreams have come true. What was once only possible in works of science fiction — with the help of the TARDIS from Doctor Who or some otherworldly futuristic technology — is now here and ready to make your travels a whole lot easier. Meet Pocketalk: your No. 1 companion for instant Japanese translation.
What is Pocketalk?
Pocketalk is a simple device that allows users to instantly translate Japanese to your native language and vice versa. Just tap one button, speak into the device and listen as rapidly translated Japanese spills back. Press another button and the speech of your Japanese-speaking acquaintance is just as easily translated back to you.
Lightweight. Fast. Easy to operate. Pocketalk is the ultimate device for stress-free Japanese translation while traveling in Japan.
Cell phone and Wi-Fi rental provider PuPuRu has now made the device available to tourists coming here to help them communicate in Japanese. Able to handle 63 languages, Pocketalk offers AI-powered translation and comes with its own data SIM. This means you won’t have to waste your time finding Wi-Fi or pay for portable mobile data.
Pocketalk also requires zero set up time: simply press the power button and select the language (in this case, English/Japanese) and you’re good to go. The device comes fully charged and ready to be used.
What are the benefits of using Pocketalk
Pocketalk is the champion of simple and easy translation. For example, in case of an emergency, all it takes is two button pushes — one to turn on the device and one to select your language — and you can quickly convey important information to anyone.
Pocketalk is the champion of simple and easy translation.
Of course, when traveling, it’s possible to use your smartphone for translation. However, this generally requires finding internet access, which can be a massive pain. Tokyo, despite being positioned as an amazing futuristic metropolis of skyscrapers, talking robots and bullet trains, has surprisingly few places to access public Wi-Fi. And if you’re traveling in smaller towns or rural Japan, finding Wi-Fi is basically impossible. Less time spent searching for a wireless connection means more time exploring, eating and having an amazing trip.
PuPuRu also makes it super easy for you to get your Pocketalk. The device can be delivered to the front desk of your hotel prior to arrival or even to the airport counter where you land (available for Narita, Haneda, Kansai and Chubu airports).
When you’re all done with your adventures and no longer require your Pocketalk, simply place it in the provided envelope and mail it back to PuPuRu. No hassle, no fuss, no further expense.
Sounds amazing but how good is the translation?
Unlike some other translation services which limit the speaker to one-way conversion, Pocketalk’s two-way translation lets you have a full conversation with a foreign language speaker. With this in mind, I tested the device out on one of my enthusiastic Japanese coworkers. We were both really impressed with the speed and accuracy of the device.
Of course, as with all translation software — and translation in general — the ability for meaning to become lost is still possible. However, all of the common travel phrases we tried such as “How much is this?” and “Where is the train station?” or “Can I please have a green tea and banana muffin?” were perfect.
As Pocketalk’s technology uses AI, the translation will continue to get better and better as time goes on — the device trawls the internet (including various translation apps) for the best translation available in real-time. Just make sure to speak clearly into the device and Pocketalk should have no problem translating whatever it is you want to say.
The device even works on nonhuman language-speakers! After being initially impressed by Pocketalk’s ability to pick up and quickly translate speech, I decided to test it a little more creatively and went off to find one of Tokyo’s famous talking robots. Amazingly, it worked. The device had no problem translating even Pepper, the SoftBank robot.
How to Rent Pocketalk
Pocketalk is available for rent for ¥500 per day via the PuPuRu Pocketalk page. Reserve online, at least three business days in advance of when you’d like to receive it. Along with the device, you’ll also get a portable carry case, instructions, a USB charger — which means that Pocketalk can be charged by a laptop or power bank—and a prepaid envelope for when you’re done and ready to send it back. As mentioned, the device can even be sent to your hotel or airport upon arrival, making it the most easy and stress-free way to translate Japanese while traveling in Japan.
Pocketalk is provided by SOURCENEXT.