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.