8 Best Pen Translator Devices for Learning a New Language

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Do you like reading books to learn a new language? Even as you progress from intermediate to advanced textbooks, you will still likely encounter words and phrases that you don’t know or understand. In times like this, a pen translator comes handy.

Pen translator device
Image from PenPower

A language translation pen, like handheld language translators and translator earbuds helps break the language barrier, albeit in different scenarios. While voice translators are better for travels and business meetings, pen translators best suit language learners and students.

How pen translator devices work

Some pen translators are Bluetooth-enabled and must be paired with a mobile app for it to work. Some have built-in translation engines.

But the way it works is the same across these portable devices: you simply have to choose the preferred language in the Translation mode (because most pens will have multiple operating modes) and scan the text.

Depending on the device, it will show the translated text either on the scanner’s screen, or your mobile or desktop screen. It can also read the text aloud.

But a language pen translator is typically not just a language translation device. In fact, in some cases, the translation feature is not the most remarkable feature of a pen translator.

Pen translators typically include the following functions:

  • Text scanner
  • Dictionary
  • Audio recording
  • File transfer (USB interface)
  • Text to speech to aid reading, which can be beneficial for those with dyslexia or other reading difficulties

Now that you know how a pen translator device works, it’s time to dive into the best brands in the market. Let’s go!

Top pen translator devices for language learners

1. Scanmarker Air Pen Scanner

Click to: Buy on Amazon

Scanning 3,000 characters per minute, Scanmarker Air is a time-saver. Its fast character recognition eliminates the need to retype notes, making it a favorite among students. You do need to adjust your scanning speed but once you get the technique down, you’re good to go.

As a translator device, this multilingual pen scanner can scan, translate, and read aloud over 50 languages. Just select the language you would like to translate to, slide the pen over the paper printed text, and the translation will appear instantly where your cursor is blinking.

One of the greatest things about Scanmarker Air is that the text appears anywhere you choose, whether it’s in the Scanmarker app or in Word, Excel, or any other computer application of your choice.

Key features:

  • Scans and translates over 50 languages
  • Fast recognition speed of 3,000 characters per second or a full line of text per second
  • Text to speech
  • Barcode reader and image scanner
  • Right and left-hand optimization
  • Free support and 1-year warranty

Languages supported:

  • Afrikaans
  • Chinese
  • Danish
  • French
  • Greek
  • Korean
  • …and more!

Check the price of this device.

2. VORMOR X5 Translator Device

Click to: Buy on Amazon

This translator device has impressive features to match its steep price tag. To call it a pen translator would actually be a misnomer because it can scan and translate text but it can also do real-time two-way voice translations. And you can also connect Bluetooth earbuds to it to listen to translations!

This all-in-one translator device supports fast and accurate scanning & voice translation for 112 languages. It can scan 3,000 characters per minute, translate within half a second, and reach up to 98% accuracy.

VORMOR X5 can also record audio and transcribe text to speech. Recordings and transcripts can be saved on the device and transferred to your computer via USB cable. Its large capacity battery supports up to 8 hours of continuous work and 7 days of standby time.

What’s more, the system is updated online for life and includes two years of free replacement and warranty, as well as 24/7 customer service.

Key features:

  • 112 languages for online translation and offline access for 6 languages (English, Chinese, Japanese, French, German, and Korean)
  • Two-way buttons for voice translations
  • Recorder and transcriber
  • Built-in speaker and Bluetooth earbuds connectivity
  • 3.5-inch touch screen
  • 8 hours battery working time

Languages supported:

  • Spanish
  • Polish
  • Vietnamese
  • Arabic
  • Thai
  • Italian
  • …and more!

Check the price of this device.

3. Youdao Dictionary Pen 3 Pro

Click to: Buy on Amazon

A translator-slash-dictionary, Youdao Pen 3 Pro is perfect for English speakers who are learning Chinese, and Chinese speakers who are learning English, Korean, and Japanese.

At 60 words per minute, this pen scanner is 15 times faster than referring to a paper-based dictionary. Translations powered by Youdao Neural Machine Translation (YNMT) are also accurate at 98%. Chinese students learning English also benefit from the AI Pronunciation Correction feature.

Youdao is amazing for building vocabulary as it boasts over 3 million entries in its built-in dictionaries for both English and Chinese. Using the “Tap and Check” feature, you can simply point the pen before a word and you will get the definition on the 3-inch HD touchscreen and read aloud in a second.

Key features:

  • Fast character recognition and high accuracy rate for translations
  • Multi-line scanning
  • Instant two-way translations between Chinese and English, Chinese and Korean, and Chinese and Japanese
  • Tap and Check feature that works within a second
  • AI Pronunciation Correction for learning English
  • User-friendly design

Languages supported:

  • Chinese
  • English
  • Korean
  • Japanese

Check the price of this device.

4. C-Pen LingoPen

Click to: Buy on Amazon

One of the most prominent pen scanner brands in the world, C-Pen has a series of pens for various purposes. C-Pen’s LingoPen, as its name suggests, is specifically designed for language learners.

LingoPen is a convenient portable tool that scans, translates, and reads text aloud with a human-like voice. Designed for independent learning, it can translate 8 languages and has more than 20 built-in dictionaries. It also includes a voice recorder feature to help develop vocabulary and pronunciation, which you can listen through its built-in speaker or headphones.

Translation history can also be accessed to review what you learned. You can store the transcripts in the embedded memory or transfer the files to your computer. Best of all, it can be accessed offline!

Key features:

  • Supports 8 languages with over 20 built-in dictionaries
  • Listen to text aloud via the built-in speaker or connect earphones through the 3.5mm jack
  • Voice recorder function for pronunciation help
  • 2gb storage and able to connect to a Windows, MAC, or Linux computer
  • Free future upgrades

Languages supported:

  • English
  • French
  • Spanish
  • German
  • Italian
  • Chinese
  • Russian
  • Arabic

Check the price of this device.

5. PenPower WorldPenScan USB

Click to: Buy on Amazon

Another multipurpose pen translator, PenPower’s WorldPenScan USB combines the power of a translator, dictionary, and barcode and image scanner.

WorldPenScan USB can scan and digital both horizontal and vertical documents in seconds into Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or other computer applications. Since it recognizes nearly 200 languages, you can easily get translations and dictionary definitions of each word for language learning.

But aside from its translation feature, this pen scanner is also useful in office and school settings. It can scan barcodes, bank fonts (OCR-A, OCR-B, MICR), ISBN codes for Google Books, and can even scan images.

This pen translator does have mixed reviews when it comes to ease of setup and lacks the text-to-speech function. But there are lots of rave reviews on its Chinese translation and OCR accuracy. So if you’re looking for a Chinese translation pen or need help scanning documents in Chinese, these can be a great tool.

Key features:

  • Scan, digitize, and translate horizontal and vertical text
  • Recognizes almost 200 languages
  • Supports barcodes, bank fonts, and ISBN codes
  • Extracts text from screenshots
  • Can capture formulas, form and chart from printed material, web pages, or PDF

Languages supported:

  • English
  • Chinese
  • Korean
  • Japanese
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • …and more!

Check the price of this device.

6. PenPower WorldPenScan Go

Click to: Buy on Amazon

While WorldPenScan USB was designed to work with a computer, WorldPenScan Go is made to be used on its own or with a smartphone.

As a text scanner, it works the same way as the USB model. But its translation function has some upgrades. It supports 55 languages in text translations and 112 languages in speech translation, a feature that isn’t in the USB version. With built-in speaker and mic, it can record, translate, and transcribe speech.

Other upgrades include the 2.98-inch LCD touchscreen, options for WiFi or Bluetooth connectivity, and longer battery life.

Key features:

  • Scan text to smartphone or computer via WiFi or Bluetooth
  • Voice recording and text to speech
  • Two-way speech translations to 112 languages and text translations to 55 languages
  • High-quality speaker and support for Bluetooth earphones
  • 3-4 hours continuous working time

Languages supported:

  • English
  • Chinese
  • Vietnamese
  • Greek
  • Italian
  • …and more!

Check the price of this device.

7. SALMANS Scan Talker Smart Translation Device Pen

Click to: Buy on Amazon

Scan Talker is a pen translator that supports 112 languages in both text and speech translation. The text-to-speech ability was originally made to help dyslexic and reluctant readers but it also proves useful for language learners.

This language translator pen comes with English and Chinese dictionaries as well as offline scanning and translations for Chinese, English, and Japanese. SALMANS claims 99% accuracy on its translations but reviews say otherwise. Text translations are accurate enough (but not that high) while speech translations require clear speech and noiseless backgrounds.

Another useful feature of Scan Talker is its digital recorder. You can record and save school lectures or meeting discussions without missing any important words.

Key features:

  • Text and voice translations for 112 languages
  • Text to speech
  • Works using WiFi and Bluetooth
  • Built-in dictionary and offline access for Chinese, English, and Japanese
  • Supports MP3 files

Languages supported:

  • Chinese
  • English
  • French
  • Spanish
  • Italian
  • German
  • …and more!

Check the price of this device.

8. iFLYTEK AIP-S10 Language Translator Pen

Click to: Buy on Amazon

Last but not the least, this pen translator comes from a China-based IT company. Most translation devices that are made in China use iFLYTEK for their translation and voice recognition engines so you can be sure of the accuracy of Chinese translation in this device.

AIP-S10 boasts 0.5 second translation between Chinese and English and 99% accuracy. It also supports multimedia scanning, meaning you can scan paper, digital screens, labels, wooden surfaces, and any other surface with text.

For Chinese students learning English, this pen translator also supports voice translations using American and British accents. It also supports offline access. At 3.7 inches, it has the largest touch screen display among pen translators.

Key features:

  • Fast and accurate text and audio translations between Chinese and English
  • Offline access
  • Can scan different surfaces (e.g. paper, digital, etc.)
  • Large touchscreen display and high-fidelity speaker
  • Supports Bluetooth earphones

Languages supported:

  • Chinese
  • English

Check the price of this device.

Should you use a pen translator?

If you’re an English speaker learning Chinese or a Chinese speaker learning English, the answer is a resounding yes. China-based brands were among the first to develop this technology so accuracy of translations between Chinese and English is high.

Because Chinese entrepreneurs typically do business with Koreans and the Japanese, you can also expect high accuracy for Korean and Japanese translations. Commonly spoken languages like French, German, Italian, and Spanish also fare well. However, if you’re studying another language, it’s best to do more research or read more detailed reviews before buying a pen translator.

Pen translators can also be useful during business trips where you need to scan and translate business documents in foreign language. But for leisure trips, you’re better off with handheld voice translators and translator earbuds.

Finally, if you think you can take advantage of the features of a pen translator aside from its translation function, then keep this list bookmarked. And if you do decide to buy, do tell us about your experience by leaving a comment below!

Trying to pick up a new language? Check out our resources, which include the best apps, books, online courses, podcasts, and more to help you in studying.  

Best pen translator devices for language learners – Pin it!

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