An electronic translator translates input speech into multiple streams of data that are simultaneously delivered to the user, such as a hearing impaired individual. Preferably, the data is delivered in audible, visual and text formats. These multiple data streams are delivered to the hearing-impaired individual in a synchronized fashion, thereby creating a cognitive response. Preferably, the system of the present invention converts the input speech to a text format, and then translates the text to any of three other forms, including sign language, animation and computer generated speech. The sign language and animation translations are preferably implemented by using the medium of digital movies in which videos of a person signing words, phrase and finger spelled words, and of animations corresponding to the words, are selectively accessed from databases and displayed. Additionally the received speech is converted to computer-generated speech for input to various hearing enhancement devices used by the deaf or hearing-impaired, such as cochlear implants and hearing aids, or other output devices such as speakers, etc. The data streams are synchronized utilizing a high-speed personal computer to facilitate sufficiently fast processing that the text, video signing and audible streams can be generated simultaneously in real time. Once synchronized the data streams are presented to the subject concurrently in a method that allows the process of mental comprehension to occur. The electronic translator can also be interfaced to other communications devices, such as telephones. Preferably, the hearing-impaired person is also able to use the system's keyboard or mouse to converse or respond.