5 films that desperately needed Pocketalk

Ellie Weston – 2nd Jul 2019

The Pocketalk is a little interpreter in your pocket.

It allows you to understand and be understood in 74 languages, with a little help from WiFi or mobile data. You just say what you want in your language, then Pocketalk will say it in whatever language you select - e.g. ‘Help! I’m lost.’ > ‘Aidez-moi! Je suis perdu.’ - and it even does it in reverse so the other person can speak in their language and it’ll turn into yours!

It’s practically magic.

While there are endless useful scenarios for this globetrotting bad boy in real life, we can’t help but think there are a few films that could have benefited from having one of these on the prop shelf…

Every Star Wars film

They’re travelling around the universe meeting all sorts of mad creatures. In fact, they’ve got enough language barriers on their own damn ship - there’s a giant furry man on board who communicates by gargling. No, not Obi-Wan, Chewbacca. They make it out like they can understand him but they’re definitely making it up. And don’t even get us started on whatever the hell BB8 is on about.

The rebel alliance would definitely benefit from having one of these on board. They might be waiting a while for the Shyriiwook, Droidspeak and Huttese upgrades though.

Team America

The U.S. is lucky Gary Johnston had the skills to act his way past the guards when trying to infiltrate that terrorist cell - but what if he hadn’t? What if they’d had to hire a different Broadway actor who wasn’t quite so talented? What if the guards hadn’t bought his tentative but convincing attempt at their language?

They could have saved so much collective stress if Gary had simply pulled out a Pocketalk.

Lost in Translation

Imagine trying to act in a whiskey advert but all of the directors and camera crew are Japanese so you have no idea what you’re meant to be doing. Sounds difficult, right? Not with Pocketalk! Bob could have just pulled it out, translated all of their instructions, got the take and been back on a flight to the states that evening.

And Charlotte could have had loads more fun on her own with one of these in her pocket, instead of relying on some midlife-crisis guy to show her a good time. Of course, she and Bob would never have made the beautiful connection they did, but it’s worth it to avoid awkwardly miming ‘where is the best ramen bar near here’ to a hip looking stranger on the street.

Arrival

When you're trying to make friends with a pair of seven-limbed aliens, it's safe to say you're going to run into a fair share of language issues. Even if you're a linguist like Louise Banks, you'll probably need a hand decoding their written language of complicated circular symbols.

Especially when you can't concentrate because you start having visions of your dead daughter. Good ol’ reliable Pocketalk wouldn’t have that problem.

The Little Mermaid

Ariel was dumb. We’re not being mean, she literally couldn’t speak! We know Prince Eric is fit but no man is worth losing your voice over. Anyway, feminist sensibilities aside, we can’t blame the mischievous mermaid for dreaming of a better world where her dad doesn’t force her into all sorts of dull regal pomp and ceremony - now THAT’s something actually worth losing your voice for, if only for a few days.

She would have had a much better chance at securing True Love’s Kiss if she could talk. Talk about cutting it fine! The Pocketalk could have translated her mad hand-signals back into English so Eric would know that she was saying “KISS ME NOW OR URSULA WILL TURN ME INTO AN EEL”.

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Okay, so the Pocketalk can’t translate alien or Ewok or mime, but it can do normal human languages from Afrikaans to Zulu. If that futuristic possibility doesn’t impress you, then you clearly aren’t an intrepid adventurer.