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Programming Apple

Speech-to-Speech Translator Developed For iPhone 133

Posted by samzenpus
from the we-got-a-word-for-that dept.
Ponca City, We love you writes "Dr. Dobbs reports that Alex Waibel, professor of computer science and language technologies at Carnegie Mellon University, has developed an iPhone application that turns the iPhone into a translator that converts English speech into Spanish, or vice versa. Users simply speak a sentence or two at a time into the iPhone and the iPhone will respond with an audible translation. 'Jibbigo's software runs on the iPhone itself, so it doesn't need to be connected to the Web to access a distant server,' says Waibel. Waibel is a leader in speech-to-speech translation and multimodal speech interfaces, creating the first real-time, speech-to-speech translator for English, German and Japanese. 'Automated speech translation is an expensive proposition that has been supported primarily by large government grants,' says Waibel. 'But our sponsors are impatient to see this technology become more widely available and we, as researchers, are eager to find new revenues that will help us extend this technology to more of the 6,000 languages now spoken worldwide.'"
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Speech-to-Speech Translator Developed For iPhone

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  • On Other Phones (Score:5, Informative)

    by Deviate_X (578495) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @08:23AM (#29908681)
    This has been around for few years now on other phones symbion, windows, android by http://www.speereo.com/ [speereo.com] Enjoy ;)
  • Re:A suggestion (Score:4, Informative)

    by nneonneo (911150) <spam_hole@s h a w . ca> on Thursday October 29, 2009 @08:45AM (#29908817) Homepage

    Watch the video. The app has two "textboxes" corresponding to the two languages, and a record button underneath each. After you record the message, the interpreted text shows up in the top, and the translated text in the bottom, followed by a robotic reading of the translation. So yes, it shows the English phrase, and if the video is real then this technology shows some real promise.

  • Re:Speak simply (Score:3, Informative)

    by MobyDisk (75490) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @08:49AM (#29908853) Homepage

    Google translate is a cheesy free tool that does not compare with professional translation tools. Last time I checked, the state of the art was to obtain documents written in multiple languages, and train a neural network (or something similar) based on those manual translations. It's orders of magnitude better than Google translate.

  • Re:Speak simply (Score:5, Informative)

    by k.a.f. (168896) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @09:02AM (#29908967)

    I mean, if Google Translate cannot do a good translation WITHOUT having to interpret sounds to words, then this tech will hardly be any better.

    The device receives verbal cues that are missing from translating text to another language. In fact, there is far more information available, and perhaps it is possible to get clues about which version of a word is desired (or which of several similar-sounding words) from tone shift.

    In theory, yes. (That's why our brains get more info from a spoken sentence than a written one.) In practice, not a chance in hell. Not until the state of the art advances by several breakthroughs.

    Disclaimer: I am a computational linguist.

  • Re:Speak simply (Score:4, Informative)

    by Olivier Galibert (774) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @09:06AM (#29908987)
    State-of-the-art is Moses [statmt.org] for decoding with Giza++ [fjoch.com] for word-alignment for training. The MT domain has an egyptian naming tradition for some reason (Moses is the open-source successor to Pharaoh). OG.
  • Re:A suggestion (Score:3, Informative)

    by samkass (174571) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @09:36AM (#29909333) Homepage Journal

    Download it from the App Store and see for yourself... http://jibbigo.com/ [jibbigo.com]

    Admittedly it's a $25 app, so maybe wait for a review. But this isn't vaporware. They actually released the app for public use and it's gotten 4 stars from buyers so far.

  • Re:A suggestion (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 29, 2009 @09:45AM (#29909439)

    there are already reviews, and except for one, they all sound really happy with their buy.
    they currently have 6 five-star reviews, one 3 star review and one 1 star review, and even the 3 star review sounds positive.

  • Re:Speak simply (Score:3, Informative)

    by Mornedhel (961946) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @12:45PM (#29912315)

    I tried "je n'aime pas du chocolat" and got "I do not like chocolate". It manages to map your incorrect French phrases into incorrect English with similar errors. I'm really impressed by the software...

    Just in case you were not being sarcastic, your own sentence is grammatically incorrect. The correct sentence is indeed "Je n'aime pas le chocolat".

    (I am a native French speaker.)

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