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Translation

Help wanted: the Universal Subtitle site will have all the tools needed for volunteers to ...

Participatory Culture Foundation (PCF), the non-profit organization that makes Miro - the cross-platform, free software video player and downloader - has embarked on a Herculean task of subtitling all videos on the Web. PCF is creating Universal Subtitles, an open standard protocol that will allow clients such as Firefox extensions, desktop video players, websites, or browsers to find and download matching subtitles from subtitle databases when they play video. But first, the company needs the subtitles. That’s where you come in.  Read More

The Tele Scouter prototype wearable retinal display

The days of a Universal Translator like the one that made chatting between alien species a non-issue in Star Trek might be some way off yet. But a new device from NEC is definitely a step in the right direction for those of us on planet Earth looking for a way to communicate with other language speakers that doesn’t involve a human translator or a well-thumbed phrase book. The prototype device called a “Tele Scouter” is a glasses type display that translates the foreign language being spoken by a partner and projects the translation onto a tiny retinal display.  Read More

Rosetta Stone: taking language to the public

The Rosetta Stone is a famous ancient Egyptian artifact discovered in 1799 that helped linguists unlock the secrets of Egyptian hieroglyphics. It's therefore an apt name for the company which has developed products designed to teach millions of people worldwide the secret of learning languages using interactive, computer based technology. Already laying claim to the title of the world's largest language software company, Rosetta Stone has now taken the plunge and gone public, the first company of its type to do so.  Read More

Kurzweil's kReader can now translate scanned text and read it out in your language.

Ray Kurzweil is one of the most amazing intellectuals and inventors of our time. From his teenage years he's been building a long list of extraordinary achievements, from his early work teaching computers to compose music, to his world-first font-independent optical character recognition system, to his pioneering electric synthesizers that are so accurate that even musicians can't discern them from a real piano in listening tests. In 1976, blind music legend Stevie Wonder bought the first production model of the Kurzweil Reading Machine, a tabletop-sized device that was able to scan text documents and read them out using a text-to-speech engine. Last year, Kurzweil teamed up with Nokia to integrate the reading machine and its synthetic voice into the N82 mobile phone, letting blind or illiterate users read documents, menus, bills, and anything else they could capture on the phone's inbuilt camera. Now, Kurzweil has announced that the kReader phone can translate text it captures that's in another language and read it out to you in your language. It also has new text-tracking abilities to make it even easier to capture all the text on a page.  Read More

Shoot-to-Translate: killer mobile phone app for travelers

April 7, 2008 Nokia unveiled a plethora of mobile phone functionality concepts last October at The Way We Live Next briefing in Finland and tucked away behind the high profile apps was a simple shoot-to-translate function. Inveterate traveler Dave Weinstein dropped in at CTIA last week and reports that he focussed straight away on the cameraphone translator that can supposedly translate Chinese to English from a photo taken on the phone. “You can imagine how useful it would be for me, but it was just a technology demo. They wouldn't let me load the app on my phone or tell me any real info about it”, says Dave, who spends most of his time in Beijing these days.  Read More

The AHKY wrist worn translation device

July 16, 2007 Speaking via an interpreter is difficult enough at the best of times, so you can imagine the difficulties soldiers in foreign lands have communicating with the population when there is a significant language barrier, no interpreter and lots of big guns in the near vicinity. The AHKY (Arabic for ‘speak’ ) is a new wrist worn translation device developed by Iraqi-born University of Derby student, Amin Ismail, will soon tackle the problem when it is deployed by British troops serving in Iraq. The AHKY currently has ten phrases which have been programmed in English, Arabic and Kurdish. Phrases such as ‘nothing will happen to you’; ‘turn around slowly’; and ‘come here’. Other languages and phrases specific for a user’s specific mission are uploaded prior to each use.  Read More

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