Google on Wednesday began turning Android-powered smartphones into interpreters with experimental software that lets the handsets translate conversations in real time. At the time of this launch it is only Spanish and English.
An in-the-works version of “Conversation Mode” was made available as the California-based Internet giant updated a text translation feature it added to Android smartphones a year ago.
“In conversation mode, simply press the microphone for your language and start speaking,” product manager Awaneesh Verma said in a blog post.
Currently, you can only use Conversation Mode when translating between English and Spanish. In conversation mode, simply press the microphone for your language and start speaking. Google Translate will translate your speech and read the translation out loud. Your conversation partner can then respond in their language, and you’ll hear the translation spoken back to you. Because this technology is still in alpha, factors like regional accents, background noise or rapid speech may make it difficult to understand what you’re saying. Even with these caveats, we’re excited about the future promise of this technology to be able to help people connect across languages
Translate supports 53 languages, from Afrikaans to Yiddish, and voice input for 15 languages. You can download the application, available for devices running Android 2.1
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