The Times has a piece about new translation software being developed by Google. The software could be used to in mobile phones to transform them into translators. Google already has a system to translate text on computers. (I use it - and it's not great but no mechanical translator is. Most of the time, it gives you a quick & dirty translation that gives you the gist of the text.) The company also has a voice recognition system that allows people to speak commands into phones rather than typing them in. Combining the technologies could allow Google to create software to understand a caller and then translate it into a synthetic version of a foreign language.
Fortunately, it will probably be a few years before the software is ready for market. So, one of my remaining marketable skills still has some value.
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