Google Translate Brings Star Trek’s Universal Translator One Step Closer [News]

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Translations used to be hard. Whenever someone talked to you in another language when, say, you traveled to another country, you were pretty much out of luck if you didn’t spend time learning it prior to going or if you didn’t have a translator on hand.

Translation books and even phone applications can only carry you so far, as it has become tedious work trying to use them to navigate exactly what you’re looking for. However, Google has just released an epic update to their Translate for Android app on its one year anniversary. What’s epic about it? Conversation Mode.

What’s New With Google Translate?

As reported by Tech Crunch, most of the updates to that app pertain to the user interface, but Converstion Mode, while only in alpha, is very impressive.

It works exactly how you’d think it would, in a perfect world. You speak in one language into your phone, the app translates it for you, and it outputs the translation through your phone’s speaker. The person also has the opportunity to respond back into the phone, repeating the process from the other end.

To see this in action, here is a YouTube video of Google demoing the app on stage, taken from a conference in Berlin back in September. The demo starts roughly 26 mins & 24 seconds in:

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More information about the update can be found on Google’s Mobile Blog. You can download the app on your Android device by using the bar scanner app to scan this QR Code:

Conclusion

The fact that this exists is amazing. As Google notes, the app is still in the very early stages, as they’ve experienced a few issues with background noise, accents, and other things you might expect, but all in all it looks like very good progress. I’m curious to see how this will wind up.

What do you think of the new Google Translate?

[Note]: Currently, the app only works in English and Spanish (sorry, rest of the world!)

Source: Tech Crunch

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