This reminds us of old Star Trek episodes: Google is testing a universal translator for Android cell phones. You speak into the phone in English and the listener hears the words in their own language. When they answer, your phone translates it back to English.

This is still in the trial stage, what the programmers call “alpha.” Speaking to The Times of London, Franz Och, Google’s head of translation services, said:”We think speech-to-speech translation should be possible and work reasonably well in a couple years.” You can view a trial conversational exchange at Not perfect, but on its way.

Some experts argue that universal translation is unlikely to come about in the next few years because people have so many different accents. But the phone will learn your style the more you use it.

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