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Google Translate turns a year old, gets new 'Conversation Mode'

One of the coolest little projects Google's been working on over the past year has been its translation features. And the Google Translate app just turned 1 and got a pretty major update with a bunch of UI improvements -- and one very cool experimental feature.

Conversation Mode is "optimized to allow you to communicate fluidly with a nearby person in another language." Basically you and whomever you're speaking to talk into the phone, and it translates both sides of the conversation in near-real time. It's only for Spanish and English right now, and is still in its infancy. But this is very, very cool, and is likely to save our butts in a month in Spain. Check out the dearly demo from the IFA conference after the break. [Google]

  • meh
  • Modern day Star Trek is coming
  • Hopefully that's UNIVERSAL TRANSLATOR Star Trek and not BORG Star Trek. LOL.
  • . . .
  • The article above says " It's only for Spanish and English right now", but the version I run (1.1.3 build 38) does english spanish and german. After the update to version 2.0 it has 50 languages.
  • I like!
    Now if only we could get Word Lens on Android.....
  • This is fantastic! I will use this almost daily at work.
  • What do you do? Tech support calls from India?
  • pretty cool... just tried it now. The thing is, it seems to translate the literary Spanish form. What is your name --> Cual es tu nombre (what is your number?)
    it should be "Como se llama" still, it's in ALPHA.
  • Actually "Cual es tu nombre?" is correct. However it is better to use "su" rather than "tu" in this case since asking a person their name implies that you don't know them. Nombre = Name
    Número = Number
  • ¿Cóno se llama? is also correct. That is the polite "usted" form. I doubt that Google ever knows the difference between "usted" & "tú" (or "vos" if your from some select countries). Maybe Google will start making the decision at some point in the future and letting the user know which is formal and which is informal.
  • oh and I agree with with Star Trek post above ... give google a couple of years and they will rename this app "Google Universal Translator" :)
  • Unless UNIVERSAL TRANSLATOR is trademarked by Paramount Pictures. After all Google wasn't allowed to trademark Nexus One, and Droid is owned by Lucasfilm Ltd, which is then licensed by Verizon. Weird stuff.
  • I just downloaded this app for the first time. This thing is awesome. I had my Mexican brother in law and I have been playing with it all afternoon. Its remarkably acurate and like alot off Google service free.
  • It's cool, but weird. When I speak Spanish, not a native speaker, it works pretty well, but when my dad, native speaker, does it, it almost never gets it right.
  • Necesito este programa para francés :( I can speak Spanish and English already. Get on my level Google lol. I love where this is going though. Google Goggles can translate pictures of text as well. I wonder if this does Latin American Spanish or castellano. Mi abuela es madrileña así que hablamos castellano.
  • Yeah!! I'm aware of all these changes....
    Beta Alanine