Communicate in Japanese with ili

Jun 07, 2017

Communicate in Japanese with ili

If you’re coming to Japan, it may surprise you to find out that English isn’t as commonly spoken as you may think. Even in Tokyo.

Sure, you can stick to some of the more touristy areas but if really you want to explore the other 99% of Japan you may need some help communicating. Logbar, a Japanese startup, has set out to do just that. They’ve recently developed ili, a brand new translation device that helps you communicate in Japanese.

Unlike other translation devices, ili doesn’t require Wi-Fi. This is particular helpful in Japan since public Wi-Fi is notoriously hard to find. It also features translation speeds of 0.2 seconds and is easy to carry.

ili functions as a one-way device which might have you asking, “What’s the point?” Well, according to Logbar, ili is optimized for travel situations such as dining, shopping, getting around and such — not lengthy back and forth conversation. In short, ili wants communication to be simple, quick, and hassle-free. That means questions that require ‘yes’, ‘no’, or simple gestures, work best.

You don’t need a phone when using ili since it’s a stand-alone device. Somehow, Logbar has managed to store tens of thousands of translations inside of ili.  You can also add languages by plugging your device into a PC. Currently, ili supports English to Spanish, Chinese, and Japanese. More languages will be added in the future but it’s not known which ones exactly.

ili has created quite the buzz on social media and has also been featured on an assortment of major publications. It will be interesting to see how much of an impact this device will have on Japan’s growing tourism industry. 


Please note that this guest post is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as an endorsement by Japan Info Swap or the H&R Group K.K..

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