On the Road

New Google Translator App Eliminates Need to Talk Abroad

Type into your phone and it does the talking.

We all knew it was coming. The day when technology takes over and robs us of the last shreds of our remaining humanity. A leak from Google today confirmed rumours that they are preparing an Android app that translates text into any language and speaks it for you.

The app, to be called Babble, will be available for download on the Nexus One= and all Android-supported phones. It translates to all world languages and major dialects and the advanced speech recognition software transcribes the words of the person you’re talking to.

So forget language courses, bilingual dictionaries and professional interpreters, now you can finally have a decent chat with that Mongolian nomad, the Masai tribesman, the Tamil sadhu. With your phone acting as interpreter between the two of you, the communication gap has finally been bridged by a neat bit of programming.

Granted, the conversations will still be limited due to inherent cultural and conceptual gulfs between languages, but upcoming versions of Babble will include the ability for the phone’s camera to recognize facial expressions and translate them into Emoticons to facilitate understanding.

It’s life, Jim, but not as we knew it.