Real-time Translation Technology Today

24 June 2013


When moving to a new country one of the major issues faced by expats is adjusting to language barriers. While learning a new language is the best way to overcome these barriers, it takes time and a lot of practice. However with new advancements in real-time translation technology, it might not be long before we can seamlessly communicate with others without sharing a common language.



As the world becomes more and more connected, the relevance of translation innovations has become more prevalent. So it is no wonder tech giants Microsoft and Google are spending more on research and development to create new translator technology.



Maybe one of the most notable achievements to date was Microsoft’s demonstration of their Speech Translation software where it almost instantly translated spoken English into Chinese. Rick Rashid, Microsoft’s chief research officer, did a live demonstration where the real time translation software used synthesized speech to match his voice. The demo caused quite a buzz, and although it is far from perfect the future of the technology is looking very optimistic. While Google is also know to have developed advanced live voice translators, current prototypes cannot match the sound of the speaker’s voice.


There are also a heap of translation apps out there to help with dealing with language barriers during your daily expat life, such as:



Google Translate – Available for Android and iPhone, Google Translate is an incredibly versatile app that offers translations for over 50 languages and the best part it’s free!



Word Lens – Is a nifty app for Android and iPhone that provides real-time translations for printed words using augmented reality tech. Although the app itself is free, for more languages you will need to purchase extra language packs.



iTranslate – Is an award winning app that can translate between over 60 languages, with a number of useful features. The basic version of the app is free but you can purchase the premium version that offers extended features.




Comic Source: "Microsoft’s Universal Translator Breaks The Language Barrier"