Times Online: Google already has technology that translates text on Web sites and a voice recognition system. Now, it's planning to bring the two together with a new instant voice translation system that's eerily similar to the Babel Fish from The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.
We think speech-to-speech translation should be possible and work reasonably well in a few years time, said Franz Och, Googles head of translation services. Clearly, for it to work smoothly, you need a combination of high-accuracy machine translation and high-accuracy voice recognition, and thats what were working on. If you look at the progress in machine translation and corresponding advances in voice recognition, there has been huge progress recently.