There was me thinking the Sony PSP was just a portable games machine that played overpriced film discs. After the introduction of LocationFree TV, it’s set to be pretty much essential for World Cup coverage. And if you’re heading over to Germany, or indeed anywhere on the European mainland or (inevitably) Japan, you can now take your own translator in a PSP, courtesy of TalkMan.
Originally launched in the far east, this UMD (yes, they’re still alive and kicking) is a a learning tool and interactive phrasebook, covering six languages and with a couple of games thrown in for good measure. Oh yes, and all hosted by a blue bird called Max.
Using TalkMan is supposedly easy. Select your location, choose your language and then the scenario (hotel foyer, restaurant, in a club etc), decide what you want to say (via dropdown) or say it through the microphone (included), then get Max to translate to your new friend. or be brave and say it yourself "parrot fashion". And with the ability to reverse the process, Max can translate the reply too. There’s also games, a voice memo, unit convertor and lots of other little toold to make language learning more fun.
Whether getting a blue bird on a PSP to do your communicating will improve your pulling power is open to question. But you’ll be able to find out from June for around £35.