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The world is more connected than ever before. Yet, foreign languages still seem to be the biggest barrier to achieving a truly interconnected planet. It doesn’t matter how many fibre cables you lay or smartphones you create, if people can’t easily understand and learn from each other, what’s the use?
In a mission to break these barriers down, major tech companies such as Microsoft and Google are gearing up to release real-time voice translation services.
As the New York Times reports, Google is about to unveil a real-time language translator that would be able to automatically recognise a popular spoken language and then translate it into text.
Another service will also soon be introduced that enables you to hold you phone up to a foreign street sign and create an automatic translation on the screen.
As you surely know, Google’s Translator is already a popular feature for translating web pages that are in foreign languages. The service currently recognises 90 languages in text and a few as audio.
In May last year Microsoft unveiled its real-time voice translator to the world — Skype Translate. The feature made some ripples and certainly got us excited. Again last month, Skype previewed the software, allowing journalists hands-on experiences with the service. The technology is able to learn languages from users.
According to Microsoft, within the two weeks after it was announced around 50 000 people signed up.
Unlike Microsoft’s which will be available only on Windows 8 to 10, Google’s translator will reportedly come as an update to the Android app, Google Translate.
Android Police suspects that a similar feature will come to Google Now, which is available on various platforms.
According to a Macduff Hughes, who is the engineering director of Google Translate, there are already 500-million active users using Translate each month, across all out platforms. This number could sky-rocket if Google’s new feature gets introduced.