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Language Barriers No More – We Knew It Would Come True

Google had announced their project on “instant translation of languages” about a year ago. I saw this demonstration recently, showing Google’s newly developed “Conversation Mode” of Google Translation. It worked out pretty ok in the demonstration, in breaking down the language barrier between an American and a German.

In one of the group project assignments we did in our study of the Knowledge Management Course in May 2008, we had in fact put forth such an idea (including diagrams showing how it would work), at a time much earlier than Google’s announcement of their project.  Of course we had no intention of really working on such an idea, but we did believe that the idea would soon be realized by someone, and it was Google that was in our mind. Anyway, I feel really excited to see that “our dream” is coming true.

Below is an extract from the project report we compiled in May 2008:

1. Business Vision

Our vision is to connect people over the world by eliminating the language barriers utilizing cutting edge technologies.

2. Business Concept

Our business is to provide people with simultaneous interpretation service in any languages, at anytime, in anywhere they need it.

The service will be provided by utilizing our groundbreaking technologies in speech recognition and interpretation. The user can get the service by using an appropriate hand-held device (cell phone, PDA, notebook computer etc.) that can be hooked up to the internet (through WiFi, Wimax or telecommunication networks).

In communicating with another person speaking a different language, the user simply talk to the handheld device after logging in and selecting the languages. The device will then transmit the speech of the user to one of our service centers at which our “speech recognition and translation engines” have been installed. After the voice content of the user has been recognized and translated, the translated voice content will be synthesized and returned to the device of the user. The translated speech can be heard by the other person through the speaker of the device.

3. Innovations/Technologies

The major innovation in this venture is our technological achievement in:

- Spontaneous speech recognition

- Language translation and interpretation

- Speech generation

By utilizing such technologies, the speech of a person can be captured, recognized, translated, interpreted and spoken (through synthesized speech) using appropriate software and hardware facilities.

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