Here’s another translation app for you guys, and this time it’s with a twist. Remember the iphone app Wordlens that does real-time translation of text? Well, Google has taken that a step further and has added a feature on Google Translate in translating speech in real-time.
Like Wordlens, Conversation Mode is only currently available in translations between Spanish and English (and vice versa). Utilisation of this mode is as easy as just pressing a key when the language is being spoken. It translates what you are saying on the fly and reads it aloud for your conversation partner. Your partner can then respond in their language and you’ll hear the translation spoken back to you.
So far the feature is in its early experimental stages, with its speech recognition still a little rough on the edges. Also, factors like regional accents, background noise or rapid speech may make it difficult to understand what is being said.
Nevertheless, this is some very interesting technology that is being developed on the translations of languages. It’s almost as if the universal translators that we have seen in science-fiction are right now coming to life right in front of us. It would be great to see (and hear) translations of languages like Chinese and Korean through this application.
Google Translate supports 53 languages, from Afrikaans to Yiddish, and voice input for 15 languages. You can download the application, available for devices running Android 2.1 and above.