Last week I posted about Google Translate’s Android App, and its most impressive Conversation Mode feature. At the time, the Conversation Mode could only translate speech between English and Spanish. Today, Google just announced the App can now handle speech translation in 14 languages.
In addition to English and Spanish, the Conversation Mode feature now translates between French, German, Russian, Turkish, Polish, Mandarin Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Italian, Brazilian, Portuguese, Dutch, and Czech as well.
Jeff Chin, project manager at Google Translate, says the product is still somewhat of a work in progress. “[Google Translate] is still alpha,” he wrote in a recent blog posting, “so factors like background noise and regional accents may affect accuracy.”
As speech operated devices gain momentum in the public (thanks in large part to the Siri application in iPhone 4S), however, this technology is sure to improve quickly. It’s amazing how fast problems can be fixed when there is a lot of money to be made.
In the meantime, the program still allows for any misunderstandings to be corrected. The device can play back what it thought it heard, and you can correct it as needed. Also, the text is displayed on the screen and you can use the keypad to type any corrections you wish to make.
As the need for translation solutions continue to grow, applications such as Google Translate and its Conversation Mode come at a perfect time. Just like Google Translate’s API was opened up for use by developers, I’m sure it’s Conversation Mode technology will soon become available as well, thus allowing for more innovative translation applications to be created.
You can download the 14-language Google Translate app. from the Android Market if your phone or tablet runs at least Android 2.2.