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Looking for a French/English electronic translatorr

Looking for a French/English electronic translatorr

Old Feb 4th, 2001, 08:28 PM
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Looking for a French/English electronic translatorr

I'm leaving next month for my first trip to Europe. My daughter and I are staying in Paris for the entire week. It is her graduation present from college. Neither one of us speaks French. I tried listening to a set of tapes by Berliz but had a hard time following them. I didn't like the way they were structured. Anyway I think I should get an electronic translator. Does anyone have any suggestions for one?
Old Feb 4th, 2001, 09:21 PM
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I added Collins French/English dictionary to my Palm Vx and it was invaluable last June. But, a good phrase book, such as Barron's French at a Glance. which has phonetic pronunciations and lots of other useful information, is just fine. Another good resource is "French in Ten Minutes A Day". You'd be amazed at how much you can learn, a little each day. To me, the programs on CD Rom (e.g. by The Learning Company) are much better than audio tapes. But, don't get too worried about it. So long as you learn some essential phrases in French and give it a try, you'll find that most Parisians are more than happy to try to converse with you in English. It does help, though, to know the basics.
Old Feb 5th, 2001, 03:21 AM
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Forget the translator.When you are looking at it you take your eyes off the
person you are trying to communicate to.
1) learn to smile, say hello & ask for help.
2)Learn the common phrases, especially of the please/thankyou/excuse-me kind.
Words for car,bus,train & ticket may be handy.
3)learn to count to 20.
You can do this on the plane - make a game of it between you.Ask people in stores to write numbers for you if asking a price.
4)Take a guide with a good phrases section & a GOOD MENU READER.
Try to rehearse the phrase you are about to use.
Come back with a little knowledge of French rather than of translating machines.
OT: what will happen when we have REAL translating machines?(French goes in the microphone, English out of the earpiece)
Will it lead to international understanding or just more tourists travelling?
Will the mystique vanish?
Will they ever translate Glaswegian?
Old Feb 5th, 2001, 07:23 AM
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Can anyone suggest a good french menu reader?
Old Feb 5th, 2001, 09:53 AM
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I have a great small, but thick menu reader from Berlitz (got it at Barnes and Noble). It has translations of food items as well as about two pages of useful restaurant phrases in each of about 10 European languages. I actually tore out the Polish section when in Poland so it would fit in my pocket. Otherwise the whole thing would fit in a purse or small bag (it's bout 2 1/2 inches by 3 1/2 inches by about an inch thick).
Old Feb 5th, 2001, 11:22 AM
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Re: menu reader: We used to carry pages from "Cheap Eats in Paris" pretaining to dining customs and menu sections. The menu section was quite extensive. The thing we did not like was that pages were large.

Now that we are more familiar with the dining customs, we are using
"Marling Menu-Master for France" which seems to be more extensive. The pages are smaller as well.

The menu sections that come with phrase books were quite feable. There were many garnishes and cooking methods from the plat du jour missing from these few pages. It will keep you from ordering common exotic organs, however...

Re: Language tapes, I have listen to quite many of them. Most are ...very bad.. The ones I liked are Pimsleur tapes. But, alas, they are the most expensive ones. They offer smaller introductory set for travellers which are just first 4,8, etc tapes of the 16 tape 1st level set. Larger library also carry them for checkout, but I have found them to be always in circulation.

Re: translator. You would probably want one that can translate phrases, not just words, unless the one with words alone understand conjugation, plurals, genders, etc. and not to rely on you to figure out the dictionary form.
Old Feb 5th, 2001, 06:32 PM
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Thanks so much for your suggestions. I'm actually looking forward to trying the language. I think I'll check out the library and see what they have to offer as well. I do have a few of the common words down already. I think I am more concerned about restaurants then anything else. The last thing I want to do is eat at McDonalds everyday.
Old Feb 5th, 2001, 07:13 PM
Cher please
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Is this another of those "Delicate Woman
Questions"? Looking for a French/English electronic ....
Old Feb 6th, 2001, 03:48 AM
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My wife and I will be spending some time in France in April/May and I have made a small phrase book for our use (we know a little French). It is some 40 pages covering most likely situations and is only 6 inches by 4 inches (150 mm by 100 mm)
I could try repeat, try to send it by email if you are interested.
Old Feb 7th, 2001, 08:39 PM
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I'm doing the same thing for the same reason--but not going 'till April 4th. You'll have an amazing experience--nothing like sharing and seeing the enjoyment of someone else.

Last year in the Czech Republic, I carried a very small phrase book, and when I didn't have a clue (even pronunciation), I showed the phrase to the person from whom I needed help, and it worked wonderfully. On one occasion, I was in a small village, in a store where no one spoke English. I showed a lady the phrase "where is the toilet" and through hand signals she conveyed to me that I had to walk up the street, past a bar, and past a church. I understood perfectly!

You'll do fine.

Old Feb 8th, 2001, 12:05 PM
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useful post
Old Feb 9th, 2001, 02:45 PM
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.....but if you just want one anyway, order a Franklin 5-language translator from Walmart's web site for about $13. It is fun to use, and will also convert francs to dollars, metric to miles/pounds, regular calculator, stores name/phone# records...

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