A reader in an e-mail wonders “whether any of those translator pens really work”:
Have you seen them? You can scan a word or a line of text and it’ll OCR it and it’ll give you a translation. … I tried googling for reviews but I haven’t found any sources that look reliable. So I thought of asking people I knew, and then I thought of the LH community, because if anyone would be interested in a pen that translates into 30 different languages, it would be you and the people like me who frequent your website.
As I responded, “I never heard of such a thing (sounds like the flying cars and tricorders we were supposed to have by now), but then I’m very much out of step with the twenty-first century.” So I’ll pass along his questions: Do you have any personal experience with them? Do any of them work reasonably well for translating single words, especially in the more heavily inflected languages? (My correspondent doesn’t care about translating phrases, though supposedly some of them can do this too.)