Hot on HuffPost Tech:

See More Stories
Engadget for the iPhone: download the app now
AOL Tech

Google working on real-time voice translation app for phones

Google Translate
Google already offers a tool that lets you translate text from one language to another and technology that can convert spoken language to text. Now it looks like Google is taking the next logical step and creating a Babel Fish which you can stick in your ear to instantly understand any spoken language.

...Only instead of a fish, Google's version will be an app that runs on your smartphone. But you'll still probably hold it up to your ear.

The Times reports that Google hopes to have a working application ready within the next few years. The idea is that your phone would be able to conduct real-time translation for you. So you could be visiting Japan, Hungary, or Iraq and communicate with the locals without taking all that time to actually learn the language and customs. What could possibly go wrong?

Of course, anyone that has ever used Google Translate or Google Voice knows that machine-translation and speech to text systems are still prone to errors. You often get clunky sentences that include nonsense words. So I'm not really all that hopeful that cellphones in 2012 will solve all of the world's communication problems. But we're certainly inching closer to the Babel Fish.

[via MobileCrunch]

Tags: google, google translate, GoogleTranslate, speech to text, SpeechToText, translation, voice recognition, VoiceRecognition