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Off topic: A replacement for interpreters? Speech-to-Speech Program
Thread poster: Monika Coulson

Monika Coulson  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:28
Member (2001)
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Nov 9, 2005

From Time Magazine

Cross Talk

IBM's Multilingual Automatic Speech-to-Speech Translator (MASTOR) program recognizes spoken English, Mandarin and a bit of Spanish and Arabic, and can translate the languages in real time. By using the MASTOR program on a Pocket PC, two people who speak different languages can have a conversation. Although in its infancy, the software is in pilot programs. Systems featuring MASTOR may crop up at airports, banks and hospitals in the next few years.

[Edited at 2005-11-09 11:31]

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Local time: 06:28
English to German
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Standard situations... Nov 9, 2005

The examples given (airport, bank, hospital) usually include a limited number of phrases, e.g.,concerning check-in, opening an account or telling where it hurts, that can be stored in and "translated" by a computer system. As for real time translation of lectures or of a normal conversation covering several topics and switching between them spontaneously: I don't think computers will be able to that take over soon.

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Timothy Barton
Local time: 06:28
Member (2006)
French to English
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Not new technology per se Nov 9, 2005

Just a combination of voice recognition and automated translation. The problem is, voice recognition recquires training, which I can't see people taking time to do in the airport, and even then needs proofreading; and as for automated translation, we're all aware of how unreliable that is.

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A replacement for interpreters? Speech-to-Speech Program

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