Talk the Talk

Conquering the language barrier.

When you do business in another country — in person or online–you want to be on the same page as the people you’re working with. But what do you do when the words on that page are in a different language? Most of us can’t afford to travel with a translator. Here are four tools that will help you understand words in other languages, translate phrases, and interact with your worldwide web of business connections.

Tool Price Language Translation
Interlingua Multilingual International Trade Lexicon Interlingua Publications Ltd.
$95.00 Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish Developed for international-trade personnel in companies, government agencies, universities, and libraries, Interlingua translates more than 7,000 terms into six different languages. At 792 pages, it’s a heavy read. But its international telephone access-code directory is useful enough to copy and put in your pocket.
WorldBlaze Multilingual Search Site WorldBlaze LLC Free English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish Most search engines can scan Web pages published in various languages. WorldBlaze is the only one we’ve found that translates the text of a query, the search results, and even entire Web pages in real time. The results can be spotty, but WorldBlaze’s flexible tools do make multilingual Web use easier. WorldBlaze also translates email.
Language Teacher 3000 Ectaco Inc. $99.95 English, Greek, Polish, Portuguese, and Russian The Language Teacher 3000 combines a 400,000-word bilingual dictionary, a currency-conversion calculator, and an organizer to create a slim, pocket-size electronic tool. The phrase book — which covers sayings that you might use at a hotel, while eating out, in emergencies, or when meeting with people — is wide-ranging and practical.
Language Teacher 486T Ectaco Inc. $329.95 English, German, Polish, and Russian Another tool in the Ectaco line, the 486T is a trilingual dictionary that includes a speech function that lets you hear how words are pronounced. You can expand its 650,000-word base by adding new words to the dictionary as you learn them. The 486T also includes a word-by-word translation system and a TOEFL course.