Language Translation is Even Easier With This Updated Software From Google…
A pparently the competition to the Skype software application program — which allows you to communicate with anyone in the world via text, voice or video at little to no cost and reportedly started translating voice calls between English and Spanish speakers as of December 15, 2014 through a preview program called Skype Translator — has become more formidable in the world of language translation.
The Google Translate software application program for portable electronic devices has improved due to some upgrades for version 3.1.0 — most notably, the ability to simply point your device equipped with a camera to printed text written in a different language and have that text automatically translated for you without pressing a button using what is called Word Lens; as well as a conversation mode similar to that from Skype where if you and another person do not understand each other because you both speak different languages, it will audibly detect the languages and translate for you automatically.
“For now, these two features are available in 36 languages (the app’s basic tools translate more than 80), and it’s a great start, because you can travel to dozens of destinations and not have to worry about being able to communicate”, according to this article written by Billie Cohen for Wendy Perrin. “It’s one of those apps that just removes a certain kind of stress from the entire equation. Even more impressively, it might also remove all the hand waving and unnecessary shouting.”
I can see at least one nefarious use for this software. For example, you know how people should no longer commit acts which could be considered damaging evidence because chances are that their acts will most likely be recorded and captured due to the widespread use of video cameras? Well, apparently now two people can no longer talk about another person in close proximity using what they think is a different language to disparage or mock that person.
Remember how I continuously stress the importance of knowing at least one word of the native language in a country which you are visiting? Well, there have been those rare times before software from Google and Skype were available where I have seen two or more people mocking another person or trying to say something behind the back of that person; and I will suddenly say “Excuse me” or something similarly innocent in their language. Seeing the stunned look of surprise — and sometimes embarrassment, wondering how much of the rest of the conversation I understood — on their faces was priceless!
Imagine someone trying to say something to you and you reply in your own language that you do not understand that person. How would you react if that person suddenly shoved a tablet in your face and repeated himself or herself? Would it annoy you — or would you help that person?
I personally would assist that person; and I do not get annoyed when someone approaches me in the United States and tries to talk to me even though he or she understands little to no English. As far as I am concerned, that person is doing better in attempting to speak English than I would most likely be attempting to speak his or her language…
…but apparently, the language barriers are decreasing with every update of these software application programs — and that can be a good thing. However, I still believe that it would be nice to learn other languages anyway, as the translations are often not literal — and it also causes the person learning to better appreciate that language.
By the way, Billie Cohen is no relation to me even though we sat next to each other in the back of the room for a couple of days at BAcon — which stands for BoardingArea conference — when I was in Las Vegas several months ago…