Print 4 comment(s) - last by jkresh.. on May 12 at 4:20 PM

Speak to anyone, anywhere, anytime

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog about developing a hardware device that can translate conversations on the fly.  Unfortunately, it would appear as though Skype has already beaten me to this milestone, sort of.  The company has just introduced its Language Line "Personal Interpreter" service. 

Using professional interpreters, for a mere $2.99 per minute, you will soon be able to use Skype translators to translate back and forth between conversations on your Skype devices.  The translation service will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  To use the service simply dial +9903936001 on your Skype phone.  The Skype press release claims that your translator will join the call with you and a 3rd party, or link you directly to a third party that needs to be translated.

Skype claims a translator is available within 45 seconds 99% of the time, though the translation fee is certainly a little intimidating.  The English/Mandarin and English/Japanese services that DailyTech uses typically run about $100 per day while the new Skype service runs approximately $180 per hour.

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By InternetGeek on 5/12/2006 5:25:35 AM , Rating: 3
I'm sure you guys can work a corporate or volume fee. Just call skype and wave your translation fees. I'm sure they will become interested.

where r the jobs?
By Souka on 5/12/2006 2:25:14 AM , Rating: 2
Not a political comment, just curious....

where are these translators located? India?


The price...
By josmala on 5/12/2006 2:32:12 AM , Rating: 2
Isn't that shocking really.
180$ per hour isn't everything.
They probably wait 80% of their time. They need enough capacity to fill in the peak need while they pay for overall capacity. And then there is rest of corporate overhead and novelty of their system and costs of developing the system. And there is risks of making losses there so they need to take more for the expected so that the expected value they get would be profit instead of loss.
Its something that you don't try a 90% of chance of winning 1$ with 10% of chance loosing 11$ the expected result is loss even if more probable result is tiny profit.
Besides its far better to target those who have money and can pay premium than those who will always go for cheapest route.

real time translation
By jkresh on 5/12/2006 4:20:04 PM , Rating: 2
Actually there are real time hardware translators (in some labs, I believe google has them among others) which I have seen demonstrations of enlish-spanish-german-french, I would suspect that they can handle other languages but I am unsure of the total number that they currently work with. While the translation isn’t perfect (or even as good as a moderate human translator) it is enough to allow a conversation between people who don’t share a common language (and I believe they even have it integrated into a phone system).

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