Microsoft Research has been working hard on a project that allows users to translate conversations in almost real-time. The software is designed to translate an actual phone conversation, providing a translation for both users, in this test scenario - German to English.
The Microsoft Research workers showed off the project during their annual TechFest event, demonstrating a phone call between two Microsoft employees, translating German to English. TechFlash spotted the project, still in very early development, and as Microsoft admits, not exactly perfect.
The project is still months, maybe years away from any public release, but the potential to have real-time translation in the near future is very real. The project still shows a sluggish response time, for the necessary time needed to translate and relay the message in English.
In February, Google revealed it is working on real-time phone conversation translation too. Google is expected to build the technology into the Android platform and Google's head of translation, Franz Och, believes that the technology will "work reasonably well in a few years' time." Google has also been working hard on showing off prototypes that can translate dinner menus into English.