Ectaco is among the foremost companies developing handheld electronic Turkish dictionaries, phrasebooks and translators. Some even translate your spoken English into spoken Turkish immediately! And most are designed especially for travelers.
These aren’t the clunky first-generation gizmos that gave you only one short word. Ectaco’s dictionaries have hundreds of thousands of words (some have millions!) and as many as 14,000 phrases, including lots of idioms. Some even have a recording function so you can add your own words to the dictionary.
These handheld devices take up less space and weigh lessthan a traditional dictionary, but they work faster, and their capabilities go well beyond the common dictionary or phrasebook.
They’re also a good way to meet new people—either Turkish or foreign—because the cool gizmos instantly becomeconversation pieces. Everyone wants to see how they work, so you become the center of attention. It’s a great way to break the ice—not to mention find out what to say (or what’s being said).
Hear a word you don’t know? Enter an approximate spelling, or speak it, and it will offer several choices so you’ll get the correct spelling and can find the definition. (Because Turkish is a phonetic language, this can work well for you.)
And do you know how it can be confusing when you look up a word? You’re presented with three or four alternatives, each with a slightly different shade of meaning. Which word should you use? Ectaco solves this problem by offering instant reverse translation! No more thumbing back and forth in a dictionary to make sure you have le mot juste (or, in Turkish, dogru kelime). Just press a button to confirm that you’ve made the right choice of word.
But wait! (as they say), there’s more!
Some devices include the functions of a personal organizerwith built-in metric measure and currency converters, a calculator, a calendar and an appointment scheduler. (Use it for bus, train and plane schedules, museum opening hours, restaurant reservations, etc. Or maybe you’re in Turkey on business and you actually have real appointments.)
Some can even store your MP3 files so you’ll have your musicand/or walking tour narrations with you as you travel.
Not done yet! they may also have world and local clocks (withalarm and daily reminder functions) and even… games! (One is a special version of “Hangman” configured as a Turkish-word-learning game to help you improve your Turkish vocabulary and spelling).
So if you get tired of learning Turkish you can play a game and learn Turkish!
So there’s an awful lot of power in these sleek packages.
I sure wish I had had one of these things when I was first in Turkey, trying to learn Turkish while running around writing guidebooks. It would have been a godsend.
So… (I hear you asking)—how much do they cost?
Well, Ectaco sets the prices, not I, but they offer a full range of devices (and software programs for the handheld you already own), so you’re sure to find something that fits your budget as well as your needs. Have a look!
Güle güle kullanin! (gur-LEH gur-leh kool-lah-neen, May you use it happily!)