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Speech-to-Speech Translator Developed For iPhone

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the we-got-a-word-for-that dept.

Programming 133

Ponca City, We love you writes "Dr. Dobbs reports that Alex Waibel, professor of computer science and language technologies at Carnegie Mellon University, has developed an iPhone application that turns the iPhone into a translator that converts English speech into Spanish, or vice versa. Users simply speak a sentence or two at a time into the iPhone and the iPhone will respond with an audible translation. 'Jibbigo's software runs on the iPhone itself, so it doesn't need to be connected to the Web to access a distant server,' says Waibel. Waibel is a leader in speech-to-speech translation and multimodal speech interfaces, creating the first real-time, speech-to-speech translator for English, German and Japanese. 'Automated speech translation is an expensive proposition that has been supported primarily by large government grants,' says Waibel. 'But our sponsors are impatient to see this technology become more widely available and we, as researchers, are eager to find new revenues that will help us extend this technology to more of the 6,000 languages now spoken worldwide.'"

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133 comments

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Why 6,000 languages? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29908581)

When everyone can just speak English?

Re:Why 6,000 languages? (3, Funny)

MrMr (219533) | more than 4 years ago | (#29910739)

We use the other languages to make fun of you.

No, no, you've got it all wrong... (2, Funny)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 4 years ago | (#29911289)

When everyone can just speak English?

See, this kind of Anglo-centric thinking gets us nowhere. We can't get everyone in the world to agree to adopt English as their preferred natural language... It'd never work, there would be too much resistance. People don't want to give up their native tongues to speak English.

No. Clearly the way to go is to get everyone to speak Esperanto.

Re:No, no, you've got it all wrong... (3, Funny)

legojenn (462946) | more than 4 years ago | (#29912793)

Until we all spreak Esperanto, I would hope that it contains an American to British English translator too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IX6K77zHwg [youtube.com]

(Not the Chaser's best, but will do.)

Hey! (0, Offtopic)

Cornwallis (1188489) | more than 4 years ago | (#29908599)

Waibel is an leader in speech-to-speech translation and multimodal speech interfaces.

Is Waibel also "an leader" in grammar detection?

Re:Hey! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29908709)

Better "an leader" than "an hero" ;)

Re:Hey! (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 4 years ago | (#29911327)

Waibel is an leader in speech-to-speech translation and multimodal speech interfaces.

Is Waibel also "an leader" in grammar detection?

Yes. Whenever you use their translator it will detect your grammar for you.

In early versions they had a voice message that would play: "Waibel translator has detected grammar in your sentence!" after every time you said something. After a while they decided to remove it - I'm not sure why.

Testing the Hungarian version (5, Funny)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 4 years ago | (#29908607)

My nipples explode with delight !

Re:Testing the Hungarian version (0, Redundant)

Centurix (249778) | more than 4 years ago | (#29908627)

Please fondle my buttocks

Re:Testing the Hungarian version (4, Funny)

Steve Newall (24926) | more than 4 years ago | (#29909159)

My hovercraft is full of eels

Re:Testing the Hungarian version (1)

Jaegs (645749) | more than 4 years ago | (#29910231)

Frog blast the vent core!

Re:Testing the Hungarian version (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29911979)

the russian version, if memory serves, is 'moyo sudno podushkey polno ugre'.

Re:Testing the Hungarian version (4, Funny)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 4 years ago | (#29908699)

That's alright, I just want to see how well it translates "Dear Aunt, Let’s set so double the killer delete select all."

Re:Testing the Hungarian version (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#29909105)

Truly, you are making with delightful humor fountain!

Re:Testing the Hungarian version (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29911127)

This is exactly the problem. I am a language translator (English/Spanish/German) and have wanted something to speed up the process but all of the programs I have tried produce such poor translations that it takes more time to correct the computer driven translation than it does to translate the document myself. I do however love some of the computer errors like your "humor fountain" joke pokes fun at. I thank my bottom heart for you that to say! : )

Re:Testing the Hungarian version (1)

DannyO152 (544940) | more than 4 years ago | (#29909353)

Exactly!!!!! I think Cervantes said it best: "My hovercraft is full of eels"

Re:Testing the Hungarian version (1)

sootman (158191) | more than 4 years ago | (#29909919)

Now if they'd only release it for Android we could be on our way to a proper protocol droid! [wikia.com]

Re:Testing the Hungarian version (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29910421)

What we *really* need is a droid that understands the binary language of moisture vaporators.

Re:Testing the Hungarian version (1)

prograde (1425683) | more than 4 years ago | (#29910455)

What we *really* need is a iPhone that understands the binary language of moisture vaporators.

There, fixed that for you.

Vaporators? (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 4 years ago | (#29911383)

What we *really* need is a droid that understands the binary language of moisture vaporators.

Sir, my first job was making tired old Star Wars references, very similar to your vaporators in most respects. And, please, sir, the Jawas have some lovely merchandise here - may I suggest you allow them to fit you for a stillsuit?

Great! (0, Troll)

TimeElf1 (781120) | more than 4 years ago | (#29908615)

So, I can now get my Engrish in real time I'm so excited!

Re:Great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29908855)

Yes, it will be nice not to have play charades with the employees at [insert fast food restaurant here] to get my order.

how accurate is it (-1, Offtopic)

rs232 (849320) | more than 4 years ago | (#29908617)

How accurate is it, does it handle 'regional' accents. How does it deal with grammar constructs.
-------

Making (microsoft) ACPI not work with Linux ..

"Foxconn .. have several different tables, a group for Windws XP and Vista, a group for 2000, a group for NT, Me, 95, 98, etc. that just errors out, and one for LINUX [ubuntuforums.org] .

The one for Linux points to a badly written table that does not correspond to the board's ACPI implementation, causing weird kernel errors, strange system freezing, no suspend or hibernate, and other problems"

'You are incorrect in that the motherboard is not ACPI complaint. If it were not, then it would not have received Microsoft Certification for WHQL', Foxconn


'One thing I find myself wondering about is whether we shouldn't try and make the "ACPI" extensions somehow Windows specific [slated.org] ', billg Jan 1999

Re:how accurate is it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29908873)

You can stop adding those "relevant" one-liner comments to your offtopic spams. It's just more work for you and I don't think it manages to fool anyone.

No more South Park jokes :( (0, Redundant)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 4 years ago | (#29908625)

Qué?

Android? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29908635)

Where is the Android version?

It only seems to have a download link for some download helper called "iTunes"...

Re:Android? (-1, Troll)

MacDork (560499) | more than 4 years ago | (#29908703)

Where is the Android version?

+1

A suggestion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29908643)

If it's not like this already, maybe you could have it display the English phrase it thinks it heard on the screen? Just to avoid misunderstandings.

I was at a noisy pub with a Japanese guy in my course, and when I said goodbye with "see you in the lecture", he responded "see you next year". It wasn't until I was outside that it struck me that he must have thought I said that.

Re:A suggestion (3, Informative)

nneonneo (911150) | more than 4 years ago | (#29908817)

Watch the video. The app has two "textboxes" corresponding to the two languages, and a record button underneath each. After you record the message, the interpreted text shows up in the top, and the translated text in the bottom, followed by a robotic reading of the translation. So yes, it shows the English phrase, and if the video is real then this technology shows some real promise.

Re:A suggestion (1)

Olivier Galibert (774) | more than 4 years ago | (#29909051)

There's no reason to think the video is not real. I'm pretty sure it originally comes from the TC-Star [limsi.fr] european project (sorry, original web site is dead). Making it fit on a iPhone and work reasonably well with the comparatively puny CPU and disk space is an impressive feat though. OG.

Re:A suggestion (2, Informative)

samkass (174571) | more than 4 years ago | (#29909333)

Download it from the App Store and see for yourself... http://jibbigo.com/ [jibbigo.com]

Admittedly it's a $25 app, so maybe wait for a review. But this isn't vaporware. They actually released the app for public use and it's gotten 4 stars from buyers so far.

Re:A suggestion (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29909439)

there are already reviews, and except for one, they all sound really happy with their buy.
they currently have 6 five-star reviews, one 3 star review and one 1 star review, and even the 3 star review sounds positive.

Speak simply (3, Insightful)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 4 years ago | (#29908645)

Users simply speak a sentence or two at a time into the iPhone and the iPhone will respond with an audible translation.

I think that should be corrected to "Users speak simply...". When using Google Translate to translate something from Dutch to French or German, I often deliberately make simple sentences that I know can be parsed easily and without having to detect double meanings.

I mean, if Google Translate cannot do a good translation WITHOUT having to interpret sounds to words, then this tech will hardly be any better.

Yeah yeah I should be more positive...

Re:Speak simply (3, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 4 years ago | (#29908669)

Also, have you seen Google Voice's attempted transcripts of voicemails? Things that I think are pretty clear come out in very, very odd ways.

Not that Google is the best at everything, but they usually do quite a bit better than average. I find it hard to believe someone has managed to best them at both of these technologies and their first attempt to market it is an iPhone app.

Re:Speak simply (4, Insightful)

mauddib~ (126018) | more than 4 years ago | (#29908867)

Not that Google is the best at everything, but they usually do quite a bit better than average. I find it hard to believe someone has managed to best them at both of these technologies and their first attempt to market it is an iPhone app.

Not that I want to be called a nitpicker, but do you have any evidence? Does your average scale by market-value?

Re:Speak simply (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#29909915)

Microsoft's Speech to Text software built into every laptop nowadays does a better job of Google Voice's transcripts, but mostly because Microsoft's version has you read a short article, sentence by sentence, to determine any accents, slurs, or otherwise imperfections in your speech to properly align the computer to your voice.

The problem lies in determining the actual message - just like throwing something a google or babblefish text-to-text translator, the message may come out a little backwards, or broken, or in Engrish.

Take off every Zig!

Re:Speak simply (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#29910005)

http://isl.ira.uka.de/about_us/interact_director/ [ira.uka.de]

Sounds like this guy is "quite a bit better than average" when it comes to speech technologies too. I don't see what's so hard to believe, it's a lot more handy having something like this on your phone than it would be on a desktop or even a laptop.

Re:Speak simply (1)

SpinyNorman (33776) | more than 4 years ago | (#29910145)

Speech recognition and natural language processing are very specialized fields. Just having a bunch of very smart software engineers (as Google does) will only get you so far without the specialized domain knowledge and domain-specific experience. Presumably Google has a few speech and natural language experts, but it's only these few that any more specialized competitor needs to best - not the whole of Google.

AFAIK Google's current translation approach is mostly a dumb brute force approach of replacing the largest chunks possible in the source document with matching chunks from a massive human translated database they've built up. Presumably they fall back to a gramatical approach to fill in the cracks.

Re:Speak simply (3, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#29908723)

I mean, if Google Translate cannot do a good translation WITHOUT having to interpret sounds to words, then this tech will hardly be any better.

The device receives verbal cues that are missing from translating text to another language. In fact, there is far more information available, and perhaps it is possible to get clues about which version of a word is desired (or which of several similar-sounding words) from tone shift.

Re:Speak simply (4, Informative)

k.a.f. (168896) | more than 4 years ago | (#29908967)

I mean, if Google Translate cannot do a good translation WITHOUT having to interpret sounds to words, then this tech will hardly be any better.

The device receives verbal cues that are missing from translating text to another language. In fact, there is far more information available, and perhaps it is possible to get clues about which version of a word is desired (or which of several similar-sounding words) from tone shift.

In theory, yes. (That's why our brains get more info from a spoken sentence than a written one.) In practice, not a chance in hell. Not until the state of the art advances by several breakthroughs.

Disclaimer: I am a computational linguist.

Re:Speak simply (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29909707)

Disclaimer: I am a computational linguist.

I'm very sorry. That must be terrible.

Re:Speak simply (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29910211)

But are you cunning?

Re:Speak simply (2, Informative)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 4 years ago | (#29908853)

Google translate is a cheesy free tool that does not compare with professional translation tools. Last time I checked, the state of the art was to obtain documents written in multiple languages, and train a neural network (or something similar) based on those manual translations. It's orders of magnitude better than Google translate.

Re:Speak simply (1)

thePig (964303) | more than 4 years ago | (#29908905)

Which is the best translation software in your opinion?
Are there any books which point to the state of art translation algorithms and how it is implemented?
I have searched for translation theory a lot, but google mostly returns with human translation theory rather than the algorithms behind it.

Re:Speak simply (3, Informative)

Olivier Galibert (774) | more than 4 years ago | (#29908987)

State-of-the-art is Moses [statmt.org] for decoding with Giza++ [fjoch.com] for word-alignment for training. The MT domain has an egyptian naming tradition for some reason (Moses is the open-source successor to Pharaoh). OG.

Re:Speak simply (4, Interesting)

R.D.Olivaw (826349) | more than 4 years ago | (#29909161)

I just tried Moses' online demo for French-->English. 'J'aime pas le chocolat' is translated to 'I am not chocolate' and 'Je n'aime pas le chocolat' to 'I do not like the choclate'
I guess state-of-the-art is still far from perfect too. The GP's point still stands.

Re:Speak simply (1)

Olivier Galibert (774) | more than 4 years ago | (#29909539)

The state-of-the-art is crap, but it's still the state-of-the-art. In any case, that's what is currently best, for a value of best meaning "gets the best score in most MT evaluations when used competently". Moses is a bunch of code implementing fun statistical algorithms though, not a full translation system. The quality of the system you get depends on the quality of the training you do, and pretty much how you setup the system together. The guy was asking for the algorithms though :-)

    OG.

Re:Speak simply (2, Interesting)

MrMr (219533) | more than 4 years ago | (#29910897)

I tried "je n'aime pas du chocolat" and got "I do not like chocolate".
It manages to map your incorrect French phrases into incorrect English with similar errors. I'm really impressed by the software...

Re:Speak simply (2, Informative)

Mornedhel (961946) | more than 4 years ago | (#29912315)

I tried "je n'aime pas du chocolat" and got "I do not like chocolate". It manages to map your incorrect French phrases into incorrect English with similar errors. I'm really impressed by the software...

Just in case you were not being sarcastic, your own sentence is grammatically incorrect. The correct sentence is indeed "Je n'aime pas le chocolat".

(I am a native French speaker.)

Re:Speak simply (1)

thePig (964303) | more than 4 years ago | (#29909497)

Thank you very much.
Would you be able to point me to any books for translation algorithms and mechanisms?
I have been reading the clbook (for computational linguistics, rather than translation).
Are there any books for translation algorithms?

Re:Speak simply (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29911519)

hmmm... there are books, but maybe you look out for classes, there are slides available on the web, maybe you google for "koehn", "Statistical machine translation"
You will see that it is mainly divided into a training phase
and a translation, for the training, you should learn about "language models" and "phrase table extraction", for the translation you should watch out for "decoder", like "stack based decoding", "inverse transduction grammar decoding" I think when you search for those things you will find a lot...

Re:Speak simply (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29910721)

Think of the Rosetta Stone (the actual one) and then Egypt makes much more referential sense.

Re:Speak simply (1)

jfrankmbl (1542851) | more than 4 years ago | (#29911359)

Off the main topic, but I would guess they use an Egyptian naming scheme as a reference to the Rosetta Stone [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Speak simply (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29909077)

What you are searching for is called "statistical machine translation". There are other methods, too (example based machine translation...) but smt is the currently most promising approach. (nearly every engine you find on the web uses that).
From the algorithm point of view a basic translation engine can be implemented pretty fast. The problem is the clean training data and the training itself.
When that is finished there is still enough room to improve by better algorithms...
Coming to google: we all know google has a LOT of data, but do we know whether they have the good algorithms???

Re:Speak simply (1)

cberger (1244306) | more than 4 years ago | (#29912703)

That is exactly what Google is doing already since some time. Training its engine with manual translations (they started with something like ONU translations -same text available in multiple languages-). And now they provide tools (using their engine) to help translators (humans !), and then Google make use of these professional translators' translations to improve their own engine... http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2009/06/google-translator-toolkit.html [blogspot.com] This is the strength of google. Their huge userbase and the processing power they have at hand...

Re:Speak simply (1)

jipn4 (1367823) | more than 4 years ago | (#29913039)

Google translate is a cheesy free tool that does not compare with professional translation tools.

Google has some of the top people in statistical machine translation working for them.

Last time I checked, the state of the art was to obtain documents written in multiple languages, and train a neural network (or something similar) based on those manual translations.

And that's what Google does, only they have a lot more data than anybody else.

Re:Speak simply (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29913457)

This is exactly how google does it. They use big international organizations such as the EU and UN to obtain documents humanly translated into several languages and uses these to train their neural networks.
At least that's how they explained it in some documentary i saw a year or two ago.

Re:Speak simply (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#29908911)

Yeah yeah I should be more positive...

I'm have trouble understand. Your battery need charge? I have jumper in chest of car.

Re:Speak simply (4, Insightful)

beanspud (187388) | more than 4 years ago | (#29908913)

I do a lot of language translation, and it's pretty obvious to me that it requires understanding. Good automated translation is holodeck territory.

Re:Speak simply (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#29909021)

Of course, for a lot of uses, good is not actually required. You can miss a lot of nuance and even quite a lot of context and still be doing a lot better than if you had no lingua franca. You wouldn't want to use this kind of thing for business meetings or diplomatic negotiations, but asking for assistance or directions in a foreign country could be well within its capabilities.

Re:Speak simply (1)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 4 years ago | (#29908941)

Yes and no, while most speech engines are shit, there's actually a lot more information in voice than in text... You can use intonation to figure out which of the double meanings was meant.

Re:Speak simply (1, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#29909181)

There is many a slip twixt "Can" and "Actually will"--MANY a slip.

Re:Speak simply (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#29910083)

I'm sorry, are you flirting with me?

Re:Speak simply (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29908991)

But the difference between google and this company is, they say it is mainly trained for tourists or medical dialogues, while google says "we can do all".

Also, this app does not say it is perfect, but it helps you to communicate.
Where is your google when you are in the mid of nowhere and you don't have any Internet access?

I would say it is a really cool app and maybe it will bring in some more competition.

I'm very happy there are still some skilled programmers out there not employed by google, Microsoft or IBM

Re:Speak simply (1)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 4 years ago | (#29910649)

They say it is mainly trained for tourists or medical dialogues

Well, that kind of supports my point that it will best work with simple input.

$ARTICLE $NOUN $VERB [ $ADVERB ]

Re:Speak simply (1)

cornjones (33009) | more than 4 years ago | (#29910255)

I think that should be corrected to "Users speak simply...". When using Google Translate to translate something from Dutch to French or German, I often deliberately make simple sentences that I know can be parsed easily and without having to detect double meanings.

You mean sort of like when you are talking to somebody in another language that you haven't mastered? You will often need to use simpler sentences and enunciate clearly when speaking across cultural lines. this just allows you to speak those words in your own tongue. Pretty impressive, imho.

Re:Speak simply (1)

SpinyNorman (33776) | more than 4 years ago | (#29910393)

Yep... using simple sentences is a must. Simple in every way : short, simple sentence structure, unambiguous vocabulary, etc, etc. However, even when doing this it can be a crap shoot whether the output is any good.

I use Google translate quite a lot for eBay transactions, and I've found the only way to get decent output is by iterative trial. Start with something simple as you suggest, but then translate it first to the target language and back into English to see how good it is (of course it may be the translation back into English that is corrupting a decent translation to the target language, but what else can you do?). If it's not good, then simplify further, or just choose different words or sentence structre and try again, and again...

Even with its shortcomings, it is pretty amazing that computers now let us communicate with people with which we share no common language, who of course thanks to the internet may be across the other side of the world. This stuff creeps up on you, but when you stop to think about it, it's an almost magical power that computers have given us!

Re:Speak simply (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29911029)

Two comments: this translator actually does exactly that, it provides you with a backtranslation of your input. So you can check if that what came out on the other hand is ok.
Here further errors might be introduced, that's true, but if you focus on the meaning, the technology is already pretty acurate.

The other thing is that the input has to be short. Well in a way that's true. These tools can do quite more than just "noun verb".
But look at it from this side: the fewer possibilities to make errors, the fewer errors will come out.

You will get useful output with sentences that are not too complex, for example indirect speech with third person and a few subsentences won't work as well as such simple things like
"Can you tell me the way to the next restaurant, please?"

But as always science goes fast, who knows what they bring out tomorrow?

Sponsors will be happy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29908647)

and also the gobernment to see that they are making profit out of their grant chergin $25 USD for the application. At that price they can soon fund some other projects.

Does it translate swear words? (1, Insightful)

base3 (539820) | more than 4 years ago | (#29908651)

If it does, better keep it on the queue-tee and not tell Apple! Seriously, I hope the author releases this for an open (or at least less closed--about the best we have in the phone arena at the moment) platform at some point as well

Re:Does it translate swear words? (1)

base3 (539820) | more than 4 years ago | (#29912529)

Criticism of Apple's heavy-handed App Store practices = troll. Nice to see the fanbois get mod points too, but I do have more karma than Shiva. Bring it.

On Other Phones (4, Informative)

Deviate_X (578495) | more than 4 years ago | (#29908681)

This has been around for few years now on other phones symbion, windows, android by http://www.speereo.com/ [speereo.com] Enjoy ;)

Re:On Other Phones (1)

nneonneo (911150) | more than 4 years ago | (#29908841)

I don't see a general speech-to-speech translator here. The closest I can get is the "Speereo Voice Translator" which is simply an audio phrasebook, not a speech-to-speech translator like Jibbigo claims to be.

Re:On Other Phones (1)

FelxH (1416581) | more than 4 years ago | (#29909153)

I agree with the previous post. Where is the generic translator where you speak(!) an arbitrary word/sentence in one language and it comes out in another? From what I can tell speereo only lets you select from predefined phrases and plays you a little audio clip of them.

Interresting (1)

Xerfas (1625945) | more than 4 years ago | (#29908689)

If it eventually covers all 6'000 spoken languages, then I will be able to understand the Swedish chef! If harsh language is prohibited, then Klingon will probably be hard to translate.

Universal Translator (1)

Crock23A (1124275) | more than 4 years ago | (#29908707)

Star Trek-inspired technology is always cool.

Re:Universal Translator (0)

Tarsir (1175373) | more than 4 years ago | (#29910423)

Yeah, except that implementations of machine translations date back to the 50s [wikipedia.org] .

Vamos! (4, Funny)

neoform (551705) | more than 4 years ago | (#29908713)

Vamos a arruinar una bonita playa.

oblig Futurama quote (5, Funny)

Coraon (1080675) | more than 4 years ago | (#29908715)

Professor Hubert Farnsworth: [Professor Farnsworth is showing Cubert, his clone, some of his inventions] And this is my Universal Translator. Unfortunately, so far it only translates into an incomprehensible dead language. Cubert J. Farnsworth: [into the translator's microphone] Hello. Universal Translator: Bonjour! Professor Hubert Farnsworth: Crazy gibberish!

Does it work for energy beings? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29908717)

I'm just wondering whether it would translate for an energy life-form who's in love with Zefram Cochrane.

i like it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29908725)

so all i have to do now go and learn english and i will be speaking spanish amaaaaazing

If I were a beta tester, I would say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29908741)

Dear Aunt, let's set so double the killer delete select all.

Where do I put the fish again? (4, Funny)

EnigmaticSource (649695) | more than 4 years ago | (#29908757)

Parece que he perdido mi copia de la guía, pero como yo soy un príncipe de Nigeria, con mucho gusto a comprar uno por $ 10 millones de dólares EE.UU., si usted me ayudará a transferir fondos de mi hermano, que ha robado mi difunto padre trono. Por favor, responda con su información bancaria para que podamos ayudarnos mutuamente.

Re:Where do I put the fish again? (2, Insightful)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#29909287)

It is concerned, because I destroyed my copy of the directive, to the transference but, because they are natural of the prince of Niger, happy, to buy for $ 10 million dollars the United States if you help me, of the Kapitaln, which eliminates of my brother, of that with túnica the recent mine father' Therefore we of S. Répondez with their information of the battery can help to request the throne?

Re:Where do I put the fish again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29909393)

... far more amusing than I... I applaud you sir.

--
ES

what shall we discuss in 100's of languages? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29908773)

gadgets? 'commerce'? being held hostage by who/what we were trained to believe in?

?soon? many of us will have the opportunity to communicate on a higher level, with no gadgets/translation required. the lights are coming up all over now.

voice and translation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29908927)

At college, I was tutored by someone who'd done early machine translation work toward his PhD and post-doctoral, and even a decade or two later, he was not impressed by the state of the art.

Since then, I've developed bad RSI, and try very hard not to lose my patience with the slowness and inaccuracies of Dragon.

IOW, theoretical and practical experience point to this tech being an excellent gimmick for people who don't need to do real work at any level of efficiency. Summarises the iPhone in general, really.

I wonder if widespread automatic translation... (1)

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) | more than 4 years ago | (#29909443)

... will drive evolution of all languages toward vocabulary and syntax that's less prone to embarrassing or dangerous misinterpretation?

I used to wonder if voice recognition would drive a big shift in pronunciation patterns, but now I expect that automatic voice recognition will outstrip human voice recognition before that can happen. Maybe the same thing will happen with translation, too.

It's been done (1)

al3 (1285708) | more than 4 years ago | (#29909711)

No HD projector, no shaver. Lame

this is where it's at. [pomegranatephone.com]

Needed for Deaf People (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29909845)

I have a friend who is deaf, he uses email and special phone transcription services to talk to people on the phone. So he can only make a call from home with his terminal. Does anyone know if there is an app that will simply do speech to text? He wants to get a cell phone, if nothing else to be able to call 911 if he falls and breaks a hip. (he lives alone and is elderly) He can speak reasonably well, since he became deaf at the age of 13 from spinal meningitis.

Fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29910221)

It failed to translate sentence: "; abadonar tabla vocablo;

Is this? (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 4 years ago | (#29910297)

Is this build around the idea that if you speak slowly enough, the other person will understand you? Is it just converting speach read in, into a Captain Kirk mode?

mcipod (2, Insightful)

uncanny (954868) | more than 4 years ago | (#29910333)

This is great news, i can finally order a cheeseburger at mcdonalds again without trying to think back to junior high spanish 1 class!

Hilarious (2, Interesting)

yamamushi (903955) | more than 4 years ago | (#29911187)

I bought the app and said "Marijuana" in English, which promptly spit back out at me in Spanish, "illegales" . I'm pretty sure that translates back into English as , "Illegal".

Re:Hilarious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29911887)

you are right... but did you try four letter words??? I actually like that ;)

Does it fit in your ear? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29911431)

And swim? Like the babel fish?

Oh look... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29911619)

...Kurzweil was right again.

Vocal circle-jerk? (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#29912641)

If you have two iPhones, see ...

good PR job (1)

jipn4 (1367823) | more than 4 years ago | (#29912941)

Speech-to-speech translators have been around for a while; the problem with them is that they don't work well. Imagine the an unholy union between Google Translate and "Dear Aunt, let's set so double the killer". Or the Hungarian phrase book; it amounts to the same thing.

Making an iPhone version serves two purposes, though: (1) lots of press coverage and (2) lots of user feedback and testing.

Good job on the PR... :-)

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