Tuesday, 09 Feb, 2010 Technology

Google Smartphones to Be Able to Translate in Real Time


The Silicon Valley giant, Google, is currently working on creating a mobile phone that could provide an immediate translation of spoken words from one language to another. According to Franz Och, Google's head of translation services, in a few years it would be possible to create a device that could work properly, offering speech-to-speech translation.

"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," said Mr. Och.

Google says that its mobile phone will be able to learn the style of talking of its user, which would considerably improve its translation potential. "Everyone has a different voice, accent and pitch. But recognition should be effective with mobile phones because by nature they are personal to you," said Mr. Och.

At the same time language specialists believe that such technology is far from being developed. According to David Crystal, honorary professor of linguistics at Bangor University, the issues linked with the speed of speech and range of accents could make Google's goal impossible to accomplish.

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