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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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  • Speak simply (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cerberusss (660701) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @08:16AM (#29908645) Homepage Journal

    Users simply speak a sentence or two at a time into the iPhone and the iPhone will respond with an audible translation.

    I think that should be corrected to "Users speak simply...". When using Google Translate to translate something from Dutch to French or German, I often deliberately make simple sentences that I know can be parsed easily and without having to detect double meanings.

    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.

    Yeah yeah I should be more positive...

  • by base3 (539820) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @08:18AM (#29908651)
    If it does, better keep it on the queue-tee and not tell Apple! Seriously, I hope the author releases this for an open (or at least less closed--about the best we have in the phone arena at the moment) platform at some point as well
  • Re:Speak simply (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Aladrin (926209) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @08:21AM (#29908669)

    Also, have you seen Google Voice's attempted transcripts of voicemails? Things that I think are pretty clear come out in very, very odd ways.

    Not that Google is the best at everything, but they usually do quite a bit better than average. I find it hard to believe someone has managed to best them at both of these technologies and their first attempt to market it is an iPhone app.

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

    by mauddib~ (126018) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @08:50AM (#29908867) Homepage

    Not that Google is the best at everything, but they usually do quite a bit better than average. I find it hard to believe someone has managed to best them at both of these technologies and their first attempt to market it is an iPhone app.

    Not that I want to be called a nitpicker, but do you have any evidence? Does your average scale by market-value?

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

    by beanspud (187388) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @08:57AM (#29908913)

    I do a lot of language translation, and it's pretty obvious to me that it requires understanding. Good automated translation is holodeck territory.

  • Re:Speak simply (Score:2, Insightful)

    by elrous0 (869638) * on Thursday October 29, 2009 @09:23AM (#29909181)
    There is many a slip twixt "Can" and "Actually will"--MANY a slip.
  • by selven (1556643) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @09:32AM (#29909287)

    It is concerned, because I destroyed my copy of the directive, to the transference but, because they are natural of the prince of Niger, happy, to buy for $ 10 million dollars the United States if you help me, of the Kapitaln, which eliminates of my brother, of that with túnica the recent mine father' Therefore we of S. Répondez with their information of the battery can help to request the throne?

  • mcipod (Score:2, Insightful)

    by uncanny (954868) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @10:47AM (#29910333)
    This is great news, i can finally order a cheeseburger at mcdonalds again without trying to think back to junior high spanish 1 class!

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