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Words don’t come cheaply

Dictionary 1

A student’s electronic English-Chinese dictionary. It’s a Chinese brand and unfortunately, I couldn’t get a clear shot of the logo.

It’s about 12cm by 9cm and easily fits in a pocket. It certainly beats carrying around a hefty paper-based dictionary.

Hit the button on the side and a latch springs open to reveal a monochrome LCD screen, a keypad and navigation buttons.

Dictionary 2

I was disappointed to learn the Oxford Advanced Learner-based dictionary only provides Chinese definitions for English words. Ideally, it ought to have provided definitions in both English and Chinese.

Interestingly, there’s also digitized speech.

Dictionary 3

It’s billed as “Bestalker” — “Best talker” or “Be Stalker”? — and claims to have a “Natural Voice” but it sounds like a Mandarin-speaking Soundwave. Which is cool, actually. (Memo to myself: Record Bestalker saying, “Prepare for oblivion.” In Mandarin.)

Some of my students have another model which has both Chinese and English definitions as well as additional features such as stylus input, voice recorder (to record pronunciation or to play tricks on an English tutor) and an expansion slot. The price tag? RM1000.

Ten-year-olds walking around packing a grand’s worth of hardware.

Posted in Hardware.


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