What is it?

A portable smart language translator that fits in your pocket.

Being more technically minded, I find it hard to pick up spoken languages: is something masculine or feminine, is this letter pronounced or silent? The individual nuances are endless – like my inevitable frustration.

This where technology – as usual – comes to my aid. The Travis Touch Plus provides easy verbal and written translations for more than 100 languages.

Good Points?

Simplicity is the key for the device: you speak into it and it will verbally translate your words into the destination language. If you want to converse with someone, tapping the return button will allow them to have their reply translated back to you in English.

A buy-in combination with the global SIM card allows you to connect to any language database on the move so that you are never caught out needing an interpreter. It can also be used on Wi-Fi and offline.

Unlike Google Translate, which has a limited voice-based translation database, this gadget can provide direct audio conversions for all its languages, including Gaelic.

The 2.4-inch touchscreen and interface are easy to navigate and far more convenient than using a smartphone and web pages. Having this device also saves your smartphone battery from needless usage and depletion. Bonus: it understands Scottish accents.

Bad points?

Offline mode has limited languages. But this isn't a deal-breaker.

Best for ...

Those who view communication barriers as an obstacle to travel. Stick a pin in the map and go.

Avoid if ...

You would rather endure the stress of frantically thumbing through a dog-eared phrasebook while attempting to order lunch.

Score: 9/10.

Travis Touch Plus, from £155 (travistranslator.com)