The SPEAKING APP TRANSLATOR – will it really take off?

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(Photo credit: http://bit.ly/1JasrFz)

I was watching an interesting futurist (Gerd Leonhard) discussion recently concerning the development of an app that wherever you are in the world and whatever language you are speaking or your partner is speaking you can simply download an app and record what the person is saying and it will immediately translate it into English and you will be able to reply to him/her in English and he will hear your answer in their own language using the same app.

This sounds pretty amazing…and that’s quite a complex app, that can pick up all the different nuances of a person’s speech anywhere on the planet. That would need to include all the different dialects and accents, as well as that know the language well enough to be able to translate whatever you say back in an accent or dialect that they would understand….

I wonder how that goes for the written word. Already the translation on google has got pretty accurate, but it does have limitations.

And actually would we actually want to have a three-way conversation with someone through a mobile app sitting in front of us? Could we trust that what the app is saying is actually what they mean?

But my most important question is, would we ever get to the point where in fact learning another language, sitting in a classroom and understanding the grammar and complexities of it, would become redundant?

It seems far-fetched, but what do you think?

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