Google Leaps Language Barrier With Translator Phone

Monday Feb 8th 2010 by Staff

Within a couple of years, engineers at Google hope to offer an app that instantly translates speech in foreign languages.

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 Hitchhiker’s 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, Google’s 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 that’s what we’re working on. If you look at the progress in machine translation and corresponding advances in voice recognition, there has been huge progress recently.”

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