Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"As the rate of technological development speeds up, the gap between science fiction and what we’re living now is getting narrower all the time."
- Richard Morgan

Language Rectifier  
  The first reference to machine-translation of human languages.  

At this point in the novel, Ralph meets Alice and hits the language barrier. As always, he is prepared to succeed in this difficult circumstance thanks to science.

"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!"


(Language Rectifier from 'Ralph 124c 41 +' by Hugo Gernsback)

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.

From Ralph 124c 41 +, by Hugo Gernsback.
Published by Modern Electrics in 1911
Additional resources -

Compare to the translatophone from My Translatophone (1901), by Frank Stockton. Compare to Translator Discs from Ringworld (1970) by Larry Niven and the Babel fish from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1979) by Douglas Adams.

The first actual efforts at attempting machine translation of speech came in the late 1940's and early 1950's as the US government was trying to transcribe and translate Russian documents. (The agency responsible for the research later came to be known as the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency - DARPA - which also presided over the invention of TCP/IP, which brought us the Internet.)

The earliest real-world development of machine translation can be traced to conversations and correspondence between Andrew D. Booth, a British crystallographer, and Warren Weaver of the Rockefeller Foundation in 1947, and more specifically to a memorandum written by Weaver in 1949 to the Rockerfeller Foundation which included the following two sentences.

"I have a text in front of me which is written in Russian but I am going to pretend that it is really written in English and that it has been coded in some strange symbols. All I need to do is strip off the code in order to retrieve the information contained in the text."

True speech recognition was not available until 1952; Bell labs created a machine system that could distinguish the spoken numerals 0-9. By 1960, this system was upgraded to recognize - 60 words.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 1 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Ralph 124c 41 +
  More Ideas and Technology by Hugo Gernsback
  Tech news articles related to Ralph 124c 41 +
  Tech news articles related to works by Hugo Gernsback

Language Rectifier-related news articles:
  - MASTOR Provides Real-Time Speech Translation
  - Voxonic Software Lets You Sing, Speak In Any Language
  - Google Translator Phone Is Ralph 124c 41 + Approved
  - Robust Automatic Translation Of Speech DARPA's Universal Translator
  - Google Goggles Translates Pictured Text
  - Google Android Language Rectifier
  - When Do I Get My Language Rectifier?
  - Google Translate for iPhone App
  - NTT DoCoMo Auto Japanese - English Translation
  - Universal Translator: Google Translate Has 51 Offline Language Packs
  - Skype's Translator Like Gernsback's Language Rectifier
  - Zoom Adds Real-Time, Live Translation

Articles related to Artificial Intelligence
Harmonia Making Generative Audio Tools For Everyone
Artists Replaced By Robots? Everyone's a Patron Now
Mem, The All-Your-Memories, Super Note-Taking App
Copilot Software AI Training Sued By Involuntary Contributors

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Science Fiction Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Science Fiction in the News

'Courier Commons' By Tomorrow Lab, From Karl Schroeder (and Bruce Sterling?)
'The pokkecon rang again. *The coffee’s for him?* Tsuyoshi said.'

Terrifying Robotic Apple Harvester
'... little machines, that went from plant to plant.'

Mechanical Horse Sculpture Gallops In Place
'Rod placed the brain inside the panel... the horse raised its head, wiggled its ears, blinked twice, gave a tentative whinny.'

'Make Sunsets' Tweaks Climate By Atmospheric Alteration
'Pina2bo would have to operate full blast for many years to put as much SO2 into the stratosphere as its namesake had done in a few minutes.'

Eviation Alice Electric Plane First Flight
'A white electric plane approached at great speed...'

Hotels Turn To Robots As Human Workers Regroup
'Chain of hotels that specialized in non-human service.'

Changesite Mineral To Be Mined On Moon By China
'But then... not every bulldozer operator works on the Moon.'

Tongue-Controlled Tong Wearable Mouth Computer
'Griff found the white and pink map distracting and switched it off using his tongue mouse.'

Is It Better To Be Short?
'He was one of the smaller, energy-saving new breed...'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Science Fiction Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.