Translation devices, commonly called simply "translators", are typically small electronic devices that can either be worn over an ear or implanted in a being's skull. The device is programmed with sophisticated pattern-recognition software that can decode spoken language and translate it to a different language. Translators generally are programmed to recognize a wide variety of commonly spoken languages; the more advanced the translator model, the more languages it can recognize. Commonly available translators convert speech into Unilang, while custom-made translators can be programmed to convert speech into other languages. Although no translator is perfect, they are usually kept up to date with new developments in language and their programs are regularly improved, so misunderstandings due to translation errors are very rare.
It should be noted that there is no such thing as a "universal translator". When a new species with a verbal language is encountered, their language must be analyzed and decoded, and then programmed into translators.