Watch Skype translate a video conversation in real time

So, I guess, in 10 years, google glass v6.1 will give you the translation in front of your eyes and also into an ear piece, and its German will probably be a lot better than this.

Where would this leave language learning?

“Where would this leave language learning?”

Language learning would become less important, obviously. People would still learn languages though, because speaking the same language is…

  • faster (you don´t have to wait for the translation)
  • more “personal” (imagine a candle light dinner with google glasses…how romantic)
  • more precise (even in 10 years, translation software will have trouble with puns, slang, dialects and whatnot. Besides that, the meaning of a phrase can change quite a bit depending on intonation, emphasis and rhythm)
  • cheaper (will everyone be able to buy that stuff?)
  • less buggy
  • clevererererer (in many situations, there´s a lot of noise or/and several people are talking at the same time. The human brain can handle that, what about google glasses?)

PS: What´s wrong with that german woman in the video? She´s talking like a robot and the way she stares into the camera with that fake smile is creepy as hell.

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It’s an impressive demonstration of what the technology might one day be like. Not accurate enough yet and I don’t think it can replace normal communication in a lot of contexts. I doubt it would have got much correct in a real conversation, but still, looks like it will be useful.

Yeah, I wonder if it could have translated her German if she were speaking like an actual human being.

Technology like this would be great for businesses or governments or stuff (well, if it were better, at least).
But I don’t think we language nerds will lose our awesomeness. Using something like this to talk to your friends would be annoying as hell, both for all the reasons Paul mentioned and also because no matter how good a translation is, there will always be things that get lost in translation and things that simply can’t be translated.
If they invented something where you could just ‘install’ a language into your brain… THAT might ruin language learning.

Paule89: What´s wrong with that german woman in the video? She´s talking like a robot and the way she stares into the camera with that fake smile is creepy as hell.

She had to talk slowly and clearly like a robot, following the script, in order to make sure the machine can ‘understand’ her words.

That was not a fake smile. The machine translation screwed up. I bet she found the translated German phrases funny. You can see the English words popping up in the German translations.

Towards the end, you can also see the English translation screwed up, and the audience started to giggle.


I only saw the first few minutes of the video. That´s definately a fake smile in the beginning.^^

“How are you doing? → Wie dir 's geht?”


“…if everything goes per track → …wenn alles geht, aber verfolgen”

I have never heard this ‘per track’ thing, but I understand it trotzdem.

This is impressive, but I don’t see what the advance is. Havn’t they just hooked up some already existing voice recognition software to Google translate and Google TTS? It doesn’t seem any more or less advanced than what is already available.

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My thoughts:

-This type of thing will definitely get tried out, by some, at conferences, and some business meetings etc.
-No matter how good the software and hardware - it will always look a little like when political leaders meet. First someone talks, then there is a pause, people listen for the translation, response, then another pause for a translation etc. Just weird for everyday conversation.
-I agree with Colin - this is basically Google translate+Dragon dictation+other things, and I think those things, in isolation, will actually have a bigger impact on language learning over the long term.