Microsoft got everyone excited about the arrival of its very own real-time translation program last year. The company provided a sneak peek of what this translator could do by presenting a Skype conversation between an English and German speaker at a Re/Code conference in May 2014. Not to be outdone, Microsoft-owned Skype debuted its real-time translator in an invite-only preview at the end of 2014.
Now, following Skype and Microsoft’s success, Google seems to be gearing up to follow, if not outdo, what its competitors have achieved in the translation space. According to an article that appeared in The New York Times, Google will be updating its Translate app. “In the update, the app will automatically recognize if someone is speaking a popular language and automatically turn it into written text,” stated the article.
This can be a bit unclear for some, as Google Translate can already listen to dialogue and translate it into any popular language virtually real-time. It cannot, however, determine which language is being used; users need to tell the app which language is being used and which language they want the dialogue to be translated into.
With the new update, the Google Translate app can automatically recognize the spoken language and translate it into written text. Google Translate offers written translations of 90 languages at present.
Additionally, Google Translate will let users capture snapshots of road signs in other countries and automatically translate them into their preferred language with the help of the Word Lens app. This breakthrough is believed to be the result of Google’s acquisition of Quest Visual, developers of Word Lens, in May 2014. It remains unclear when the updated Google Translate app will become available.
Recently, Microsoft launched a Spanish-English conversation trial using Skype to a number of students in Tacoma, Washington and Mexico City. See the full video of this momentous event below:
How might Microsoft, Skype, and Google’s real-time translators impact digital marketing across language barriers?
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