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

    by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Thursday October 29, 2009 @08:30AM (#29908723) Homepage Journal

    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.

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

    by R.D.Olivaw (826349) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @09:20AM (#29909161)
    I just tried Moses' online demo for French-->English. 'J'aime pas le chocolat' is translated to 'I am not chocolate' and 'Je n'aime pas le chocolat' to 'I do not like the choclate'
    I guess state-of-the-art is still far from perfect too. The GP's point still stands.
  • Re:Speak simply (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MrMr (219533) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @11:21AM (#29910897)
    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...
  • Hilarious (Score:3, Interesting)

    by yamamushi (903955) <yamamushi.gmail@com> on Thursday October 29, 2009 @11:40AM (#29911187) Homepage
    I bought the app and said "Marijuana" in English, which promptly spit back out at me in Spanish, "illegales" . I'm pretty sure that translates back into English as , "Illegal".
  • by lordtoran (1063300) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @02:35PM (#29914027) Homepage

    When everyone can just speak English?

    Ok, which kind of English would you pick? Canadian? Australian? Caribbean? Ghanaese? Indian? Scots? Or one of the countless creole dialects and pidgins? It is one of the few languages that has never been officially reformed or standardized, so it is essentially... multiple languages. Exactly what you criticised.

    Languages evolve to reflect the mindset of their speakers. Even if one had the means to eradicate all languages except some form of Standard English, it would instantly break up into ca. 6000 branches again.

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