Famous Travel Photographer Travels to Japan with ili

To me, travel is all about the experiences I have. It’s not specifically the destination that matters to me; it’s more about how I feel when I am there. When I tell stories about my travels, I talk about what I did, saw, ate, photographed, and experienced. I talk about how I saw things differently, and how I tried to navigate my way through the foreign land.

Some times, I talk about how I couldn’t communicate what I needed to, when speaking with locals. With language differences, it’s sometimes difficult to express myself. But on a recent trip to Japan, I was using an instant translator to help me communicate easier. That device was called ili.

I’ve been to Japan many times over the years, and I feel I know the country well enough to travel confidently. Most of the places I visit in Japan are famous landmarks where you’d find many other foreign tourists. But sometimes, I venture off the beaten path, and wander into smaller neighbourhoods that don’t see a lot of foreigners. When I do, I get to experience the real Japan that we all crave when we visit the country. And it’s during those times that having a device like ili really helps a lot.

>>Read his original blog<<

In the Field

Using ili as a one-way translator works surprisingly well. In most cases when I was asking questions – about food, directions, etc. – the answer was very simple. The reply was usually just a confirmation, or pointing a direction, or some giggles. But it always resulted in a smile from the listener.

I found that I used it whenever I encountered locals that were shy about their ability to speak English. This happened frequently during the trip. Conversing with taxi drivers was a common occurrence. Often the drivers would struggle with basic questions about locations. But when ili was involved, answers were swift and cheerful. Staff in restaurants and shops were another great opportunity for using the device. Even the smallest effort to communicate in Japanese made the world of difference.


Is ili right for you? If you travel in countries where Mandarin, Spanish or Japanese are commonly spoken, probably. If you are reluctant to travel to countries where those languages are spoken, then definitely. Having an inability to speak another language shouldn’t stop you from travelling. And having a device like Ili available during your travels will certainly improve your experiences.

I think ili is just the beginning of wearable translation devices. As the years march onward, I think we’ll see a lot more improvements in the technology. But for now, if you’re interested in using a translation device when you’re travelling, you can’t miss with this little unit.

I can think of dozens of Adventures that we run where Ili would be useful. If you’re joining us in Cuba, Spain, Chile, Guatemala, Argentina, Mexico, China or Japan, one of these little devices would come in handy.

Don’t let language be a barrier to your enjoyment of travel!!

Wanna travel with ili Translator? Learn more about ili Translator from here.