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When Do I Get My Language Rectifier?

In his amazing 1911 novel Ralph 124c 41 +, Hugo Gernsback writes about a device that can translate the spoken word from one language to another in real time:

"I beg your pardon, but "Central" seems to have made another mistake..."

Her reply indicated that the mistake of "Central" was a little out of the ordinary, for he had been swung onto the Intercontinental Service, as he at once understood when she said, "Pardon, Monsieur, je ne comprends pas!"

He immediately turned the small shining disc of the Language Rectifier on his instrument till the pointer rested on "French."

"The service mistakes are very annoying," he heard her say in perfect English.

Gernsback called his idea a "language rectifier".

So, when will we get this device for real?

Google has been working hard on this problem; I wrote about their Google translator phone eight months ago. It turns out that this device is not quite as close as previously reported.

Take a look at the following video that shows Google's idea on how to do text translation; putting the result into speech is less difficult.


(Inside Google translate)

Not to be left behind, Microsoft has also been hard at work on this idea; take a look at their "Translating Telephone" demo in the following video.


(Microsoft Translating Telephone)

Two giant corporations, each with their own approach to the problem, each with vast resources - when will I get my language rectifier? Alas, not this year.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/13/2010)

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