Google phones to translate speech on the fly
By Ramsey DeHani
Posted on 8 Feb 2010 at 11:51
Google has announced plans to release voice-to-voice translation software for use on mobile phones.
The company is aiming to release a basic service within the next couple of years, according to reports, but acknowledges the difficulty of mapping the thousands of languages and dialects that exist around the world.
“Everyone has a different voice, accent and pitch,” said Franz Och, head of translation services at Google, in an interview with The Times.
The phone should get a feel for your voice from past voice-search queries
“But recognition should be effective with mobile phones because by nature they are personal to you. The phone should get a feel for your voice from past voice-search queries, for example,” he added, acknowledging that the system wouldn't function effectively without accurate voice-recognition software.
The new translation service will analyse “packages” of speech, listening to a full phrase or sentence until it understood the full meaning of what was being said.
Google already has voice-control options on its mobile search engine and an online text translator. However, the text system only recognises 52 languages (adding Haitian Creole last week), which does not come close to even the 230 languages spoken in Europe, many of which include a variety of dialects.
Och admits that full speech-to-speech translation will not be feasible until “a few years’ time”, but adds that the field is progressing quickly and that the wealth of data Google already has on different languages and speech patterns will go a long way to helping the company develop the software first.
Is your business a social business? For helpful info and tips visit our hub.
You go months reading about
regurgitated tech, all about as inspiring as the ipad. Then bang, you read something like this and then you realise why you read these columns! You know the ones that make you think bloody hell can they really do that!
puts a smile on your face doesn't it!
(yes I know it's google and yes they will be filtering your speech for contextual advertising but still you can't get more star trek than universal translators can you!)
By SimonCorlett on 8 Feb 2010
No matter what link I follow from this page, I get sent to Intel's site. Have you been hacked, or are Intel offering extra large amounts of money for click-throughs today?
By ramjam on 8 Feb 2010
Ramjam, I have adblocked that intel image - there was some sort of problem with it and firefox meaning I couldn't click anything but that image. I can only recommend you do the same. The links are correct, under the problematic intel image.
By Penguat on 8 Feb 2010
Which has now sorted itself out, at least for me.
By Penguat on 8 Feb 2010
Today it's Misco
9 Feb, 10:30, clicking any link on the PCPro page takes you to Misco. And I'm using Chrome. Not a browser fault methinks.
More to the point, can this Google system translate Teenage Mumble? Then I would be impressed.
By Noghar on 9 Feb 2010
- What's on this week's PC Pro podcast?
- iPhone 6 release date, specs/features and rumours: when is the new iPhone 6 coming out in the UK
- Still on Windows XP? There's now an unofficial service pack
- It's on: Apple announces 9 September event for the iPad, iWatch and iPhone 6... maybe
- 1,500 fake apps kicked off Windows Store
- 20 years of PC Pro: our best covers
- Why we've closed the PC Pro forums
- How to turn off Google Location Tracking
- 20 years of PC Pro: our greatest review mistakes
- 20 years of PC Pro: our first A-List
- Wikipedia's "right to be forgotten" protest hits the wrong note
- 3D printing hits the high street for plastic selfies
- 20 years of PC Pro: What amazed us in our first issue
- How Google Glass ruined my lunch hour
- Smartphone battery packs: can a USB power pack beat the festival battery blues?
- How to sell more ebooks on Amazon
- 10 ways to make your business more secure
- Top five VoIP mistakes
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office