Definition

talking translator

A talking translator is a program that translates words and phrases from one language to another language and delivers the translation to the user as audio information. Most often, a talking translator is the major feature of a handheld device, although some are available as software for a personal digital assistant (PDA), or a desktop or portable computer. Typically, the translator provides a phonetic version of the word or phrase in text along with the audio pronunciation. Talking translators may work through text-to-speech conversion, or may use voice recognition to translate spoken input.

Talking translators are very useful for learning languages. They can also facilitate communication for a person who is traveling or interacting with someone who speaks a different language. VoxTec's Phraselator product can translate words and phrases among hundreds of languages. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) awarded VoxTec a two-year development grant in January 2001. Since then, the devices have been used to enable United States troops to communicate with natives in foreign countries, including Afghanistan and Iraq.

This was last updated in March 2007
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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