Google Translate isn't the most feature-packed translator for Android, but it has the marked benefit of being free. This app can translate basic words and phrases between dozens of languages, though sentences may come out kind of wonky depending on the structure. Still, it definitely works in a pinch. Our one major complaint is that this app requires a network connection to work, so if your international roaming charges are hefty, it may not be much use to you at your moment of need.
Remember the Babel Fish? As fans of "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" will recall, it lived in your ear and immediately translated whatever language a person was speaking into whatever language you could understand.
Word Lens for iPhone works just like a Babel Fish, except it doesn't live in your ear, and it translates only printed text, not spoken words. But it's no less amazing.
Working a kind of magic I can't fully understand, Word Lens instantly translates whatever text your iPhone camera sees. Point it at a sign that's written in Spanish and you'll immediately see its English translation. Or go the other way: Point it at a menu that's written in English and you'll instantly see Spanish.
Ay caramba! Seriously, you have to see the app in action to fully appreciate it. So with that in mind, watch this:
Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible, but not necessarily to create it outright. This makes Wikipedia a natural partner.
It's therefore no surprise to hear when the search colossus helps out the cooperatively written project.
Specifically, Google is helping Wikipedia with translation, so subject matter documented in one language needn't be created from scratch in another. Google described some of its translation work in a presentation at the Wikimania conference in Poland over the weekend.
"In the last 16 months, Google has been working with the Wikimedia Foundation, … Read more
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--One of the hits at this year's TechFest in Redmond was the so-called translating telephone.
The effort combines speech recognition, machine translation, and text-to-speech technology to let two people who don't share a common language nonetheless carry on a phone conversation. As part of a regional TechFair at Microsoft's Silicon Valley offices on Thursday, I got a chance to try out the technology, conversing with Frank Seide, one of the researchers behind the project.
I asked a few questions in English, while Seide answered in German. As one can see from the video below, … Read more
This past weekend I was at a wedding where the bride, groom, and both of their families came from different sides of the Pacific Ocean (Japan and central California to be precise). At the party the night before the ceremony a few of us broke out our phones to play with translation apps, which of course, led to comical results.
One of the highlights was when the groom-to-be (who happens to be bilingual) looked at my attempt to translate "I think you've had enough beer," from English to Japanese and said "That's good, but far … Read more
If you're the type of crazy that follows just about anyone on Twitter, your stream is likely filled with all manner of languages. A very easy solution is to unfollow these folks. But in the spirit of making things work, you can also just download new Firefox extension Twanslate.
Just like the translate functionality in Brizzly, and this translation Greasemonkey script, Twanslate adds a simple button underneath any tweet that's in another language. You then click it anytime you want to convert it into English. The option to do this sits right below Twitter's star-shaped favorite button … Read more
Since it was introduced in late 2008, VoxOx has tried to cut a name for itself in the competitive multiprotocol chat client market by providing users with an aggressive feature set. These include VoIP, a "personal assistant" for managing incoming calls with more than a simple redirect, and SMS and Web-based callback to cut down on the cost of long-distance, transnational calls. The latest improvement is a universal translator that translates all text-based messages in real time, and with a reasonable amount of accuracy, for both the Windows and Mac versions of the program. It will work with … Read more
Google Translation Bar is a handy add-on for the Chrome Web browser that lets users translate Web pages between a variety of languages. It doesn't have as many features as other translators we've seen, but it's still a quick and easy way to get translations of fairly high quality.
The add-on integrates well with Chrome, appearing as a small icon within the address bar. When the icon is clicked, a banner appears across the top of the Web page offering translation options. Translating couldn't be easier; users simply select the desired output language--there are 53 to … Read more
Google Translate is a handy add-on for Chrome that allows users to translate Web pages between a wide variety of languages. Although it handles some languages better than others, in general, it's a quick and easy way to get translations of fairly high quality.
The add-on integrates well with Chrome, appearing as a small icon to the right of the address bar. Users can click on this to access a sleek menu at the top of the browser window, but the application can optionally detect when you're visiting a Web page not in your default language and offer … Read more
Google already runs a successful online translator, Google Translate, but they've got far-loftier ideas than simply converting the written word. They want to translate languages spoken over the phone, according to their head of translation services.
Speaking to The Times, Franz Och, Google's head of translation services, said:
"We think speech-to-speech translation should be possible and work reasonably well in a few years' time.
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.
If you look at the progress in … Read more