At an annual trade show for the language translation service industry, a mobile application developer unveiled a new speech-to-speech foreign language translation application that runs on the iPhone and Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich operating systems. While the application is specifically designed with leisure international travelers in mind, planned upgrades will make the application indispensable to business travelers.
As demonstrated in the keynote speech, the current version of the application allows some limited translation between English and the following languages: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Iraqi, Japanese, Korean, and Spanish. Our Portland French Translation Service manager reported that while the application had some severe limitations, the concept was very impressive.
Although handheld language translation tools have been around for more than twenty years, this offering represents a new niche that provides Speech-to-Speech Translation. To use the application, a user simply needs to speak into the handset and almost instantaneously; the statement is translated, visible on the display and repeated aloud in the target language. Amazingly, all of this is performed independently and without the need of a WiFi or courier/subscriber connection. Since the international traveler doesn’t need to have a signal, there is no fear of high cost international roaming charges.