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Google's Stunning Voice Translation App

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 61 comments

We've always dreamed of something like this.

Technology has enabled greater levels of communication than ever. Even right now, we're conveying a piece of information that wouldn't be easy to do so without the internet.

The internet has truly changed the way we communicate. We may still have barriers to communication such as differing languages, and there have been online text translators available for free online for years. The next big step is a live translation of spoken language from one to the other.

Through Google's work into translation and voice recognition, the company today released a new version of Google Translate for Android that features a conversation mode that allows English and Spanish speakers to communicate to one another in their native tongues via the app.

While it's not quite like having a Babel Fish in your ear just yet, it's clearly a significant step in that direction.

Google's Stunning Real-Time Voice Translation App

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Top Comments
  • 11 Hide
    plznote , January 15, 2011 8:09 PM
    killerclickHow about everybody stops messing around and learns to speak English? I speak three foreign languages fluently but English is the only one I ever needed. It's really easy to learn, it's very versatile, it's already a de facto standard so there's no need for silly devices to communicate with non English speaking savages.


    Tu est un imbecile!
  • 11 Hide
    Parsian , January 15, 2011 6:28 PM
    will it do Klingon?
Other Comments
  • -1 Hide
    rambo117 , January 15, 2011 6:20 PM
    You can still see the need for improvement in a device like this but still, one step closer to a UT :D 
  • Display all 61 comments.
  • 11 Hide
    Parsian , January 15, 2011 6:28 PM
    will it do Klingon?
  • 6 Hide
    jhansonxi , January 15, 2011 6:59 PM
    Parsianwill it do Klingon?

    If not I'm sure a hacker will fix it.
  • -1 Hide
    belardo , January 15, 2011 7:10 PM
    We need one for NAVI (Blue guys from Avatar)
  • -2 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , January 15, 2011 7:31 PM
    It's not gunna work. I've talked to a few of my bi-lingual friends and they've all tried Google Translate. The translation seems to always be too literal and the meaning is always off.

    But I did LOL @ the comment of "Will it do Klingon?"
  • 0 Hide
    micr0be , January 15, 2011 7:47 PM
    i have not been this impressed since honeycomb was revealed...
  • 11 Hide
    plznote , January 15, 2011 8:09 PM
    killerclickHow about everybody stops messing around and learns to speak English? I speak three foreign languages fluently but English is the only one I ever needed. It's really easy to learn, it's very versatile, it's already a de facto standard so there's no need for silly devices to communicate with non English speaking savages.


    Tu est un imbecile!
  • 5 Hide
    scione , January 15, 2011 8:23 PM
    killerclickHow about everybody stops messing around and learns to speak English? I speak three foreign languages fluently but English is the only one I ever needed. It's really easy to learn, it's very versatile, it's already a de facto standard so there's no need for silly devices to communicate with non English speaking savages.


    You know english is considered one of the hardest languages to learn right?
    Non english speakers are savages? how ignorant can you be.

    btw I agree with plznote
  • 3 Hide
    nevertell , January 15, 2011 8:37 PM
    How can english be one of the hardest languages to learn? I think that's a statement only native english speakers consider true.
  • -1 Hide
    killerclick , January 15, 2011 8:52 PM
    scioneYou know english is considered one of the hardest languages to learn right?


    Source? English is minimally inflected, non-diacritical, very adaptable and widespread like no other language. Those facts alone make it the easiest to learn of all major languages, not to mention the most useful. I can't think of a good reason for not learning English as a second language and I can't think of a good reason to communicate with people who refuse to learn English.
  • 0 Hide
    caparc , January 15, 2011 9:24 PM
    The synthetic speech with good phrasing is the most impressive part of that video. I've been using speech recognition software for years and it's improved but is still a nich product, not the keyboard replacement everyone daydreams about. The best speech recognition still includes training the software, excellent mics, no background noise and clear speaking. Humans often have trouble understanding each other so what can we expect from machines? It will get better and it's getting better. I keep thinking that server based software might do the best job, meaning we speak to a super computer across the internet that none of us could afford alone but thousands of users share it's resources. I have a suspicion that American intelligence agencies already have this and use it to monitor humongus numbers of phone conversations around the world, oops, shhh. I didn't say that.
  • 6 Hide
    San Pedro , January 15, 2011 10:02 PM
    killerclickSource? English is minimally inflected, non-diacritical, very adaptable and widespread like no other language. Those facts alone make it the easiest to learn of all major languages, not to mention the most useful. I can't think of a good reason for not learning English as a second language and I can't think of a good reason to communicate with people who refuse to learn English.

    Some things that make English difficult:
    Abundance of verb tenses
    Many exceptions to rules
    Unclear phonics (IPS is great for ESL students)
    Many vowel sounds
    Consonants that some other languages don't have
    Connecting words while talking

    These are some things that make English difficult. I think it matters what your native language is as well. Japanese and Korean grammar are almost opposite of English, so switching the mind to think like that can be difficult. Also many Asian people can't hear the difference between l and r, and v and b.
    It is definitely the most useful language to learn. I tell all my students they are lucky to learn English because it is so useful, especially for traveling. Try speaking Japanese to someone in a foreign country.

    Anyway, I think this may work for some things and languages, but I can't imagine it doing a reasonable job with Japanese. Maybe it would be better than nothing though.
  • 6 Hide
    dragonsqrrl , January 15, 2011 10:13 PM
    killerclickSource? English is minimally inflected, non-diacritical, very adaptable and widespread like no other language. Those facts alone make it the easiest to learn of all major languages, not to mention the most useful. I can't think of a good reason for not learning English as a second language and I can't think of a good reason to communicate with people who refuse to learn English.

    I think I understand what you're trying to say, but you somehow managed to say it in a profoundly arrogant and offensive way. English may be somewhat easy to pick up, but it can be pretty difficult to master. For example there are issues with irregular verbs, and the dynamic idiomatic nature of the spoken language.
  • 1 Hide
    caparc , January 15, 2011 10:18 PM
    I have videos on youtube where people comment in various languages. I like to read them and am glad to have the translation services. My commenters tend to us specialized musical terms that are words from other languages and the translators tend to choke on that. Translation is tricky.
  • 4 Hide
    warmon6 , January 15, 2011 10:29 PM
    For all of you guys saying this language and that language is easiest/hardest to learn need to pipe down. :non: 

    If anyone one of you should know is that there is no 1 language thats the easiest/hardest to learn.

    It's all depend on what language you natively speak in that determines what 2nd lanuage you'll be able to learn easily or have difficultly learning.

    It Also depends on if you need that other language or not. I know im trying to learn Spanish but with no need, i'm having great difficulty learning it.

    There other factors that play into someone able to learn another language or not.

    So killerclick, you say English is the easiest to learn but yet do you have proof? Does scione have proof that English is most difficult to learn? Nope.

    So Killerclick, i would recommend getting off the English is a high and mighty language. I would definitely see scenario's of why someone wouldn't learn English as another language maybe more important that it. Say you speak Japaneses and your doing trading with say,South Korea. Would you:
    A. Learn Korean?
    B. Learn English?

    I would say i pick A as if the person i was trading with doesn't know English, why would i want to waste my time to learn English if the main people i trade with is Korea?

    San Pedro, You hit it right on the head. ;) 



    BTW, if you try to type into google to see hardest languages, you'll find sites like theses saying something like what San Pedro and I have said.

    http://www.usingenglish.com/comprehension/5.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Most_difficult_language_to_learn

    And other sites that will say this is the hardest or that is, well.... They show a pattern..... That is.... No one has an idea what is the hardest language to learn.


    Get the picture?
  • 1 Hide
    xantek24 , January 15, 2011 10:52 PM
    A conversation fail: English- "i like your shoes m'am"
    German: "i like your boobs damn!"
  • 3 Hide
    mayankleoboy1 , January 15, 2011 10:55 PM
    probably the most difficult language to learn is GEEK
  • -1 Hide
    Harby , January 15, 2011 11:12 PM
    Killerclick, you're the savage.
  • 1 Hide
    ProDigit10 , January 15, 2011 11:17 PM
    I wonder how it will interpret the german drumbeat machine!
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