Interpreters with Google Android

As we have discussed in several articles over the past year, Google is always developing new applications for translation or interpretation with limited success, since the quality of these translations is subjective.

Now I have just read the latest: with Google Translate, Android smartphones become interpreters.

It appears that Google began last week to try to “convert” these Android smartphones into a type of “electronic interpreters” through an experimental software that allows devices to translate conversations in real time. With the feature called “Conversation Mode”, the user says a phrase that the software records and analyzes, and then prompts the user to confirm whether the phrase has been understood correctly. If the answer is affirmative, the program generates a translation for the speaker, who responds, and so on.

However, the project has just begun and so far it is only available for the language pair English / Spanish, although there are a number of other limitations. As Google itself notes, the system is far from perfect and will not recognize dialects, when the user speaks too fast or has too much background noise.

I think it’s okay for Google to launch this series of projects that can be useful, but the work of a qualified professional cannot be replaced today, nor is that day close to fruition. It may be a useful tool for private use, and in some conversations that are very basic, in a noiseless environment, etc., but I think the business people or those needing assistance in the field of communication between languages and where quality and precision can be essential for the smooth flow of his business, will continue to use interpreters in flesh and blood.

(Spanish version: Intérpretes con Google y Android)