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Who doesn’t love travelling? There are few things as exhilarating as going to another country, immersing yourself in another culture, and trying to communicate with people across a language barrier — things we take for granted like road signs and food ingredients become challenges to overcome, and you must find your way around in whatever way you can. Unfortunately, I’ve only had this experience a couple of times, but I always think about how difficult travelling in countries where they speak another language must be, particularly in rural areas where people don’t speak even a little bit of your language. Our primary mode of communication is speech, and while there are many nonverbal ways to convey meaning, they generally only work for the most basic of concepts.

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If you like to travel, you have undoubtedly found yourself in a frustrating situation trying to communicate with someone who doesn’t speak your language. Sometimes no matter how hard you try, you can’t get your meaning across. And language barriers can create real barriers between people, reinforcing judgements and assumptions about their culture which may have disintegrated if you were able to share a few words together.

Wouldn’t it be amazing to travel and be able to understand what somebody is saying in a foreign language instantaneously? Well, now you can, thanks to a new device called “The Pilot System.” It allows the wearer to understand several different languages through real time ear translation. When one person speaks, the device instantly translates the words into the wearer’s native language.  The app allows you to select and change the languages you want, which, for now, include French, Spanish, Italian, and English.  It is expected to hit stores this September with an expansion of languages soon to follow.

The device was made by a company called ‘Waverley Labs,” and the gadget consists of two comfortable and easy to wear earpieces. The goal is to eventually have this device translate everything happening around you in any country. Apparently, the idea came from one of the company’s technicians after “meeting a French girl” and wishing he could talk to her.

 

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