The famed Babel Fish of The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is coming soon—Google plans to release a phone within the next couple of years that instantly translates spoken words into another language. In combining two existing technologies—voice recognition and automatic translation—Google aims to produce a software capable of comprehending a caller’s voice and translating it into a synthetic equivalent in a different language. The phone would behave like a professional human interpreter, analysing “packages” of speech and listening until it understands the full meaning of words and phrases. “We think speech-to-speech translation should be possible and work reasonably well in a few years’ time,” said Franz Och, Google’s head of translation services.
Google takes on the language barrier
New phone technology will translate foreign languages instantly