Google Translate to go real-time in next update

Translation software is a measure for bringing us all together, regardless of what language we speak. Microsoft recently made a big impact with real-time Skype translations, which let two video chat attendees converse in their native tongues while having the translated version of the other person's speech pop up on screen. Now, Google is reportedly getting into the mix, and will have a more real-time version of Google Translate ready for us. No word yet on when the update will hit.

The update to Google Translate, according to The New York Times, will automatically recognize when someone is speaking a "popular" language, then turn it into text.

The effect of Google Translate in real-time could be felt much deeper than Translate. According to Google, they've got 500 million monthly active users for Translate, and the update to real-time would be available on most handsets.

Google also says 80-90% of the web is in 10 languages, so the real-time/popular recognition/dictation scheme might not be quite as difficult as you might think, initially.

Translate currently recognizes 80 different languages or dialects, and can even support dictated language in some respects. Google's Translate can also recognize text in pictures and handwriting.

There's no timeline for the update to Translate, nor do we know if real-time translation will occur offline, or require a connection. We also don't know which "popular" languages will be supported on launch.

Source: The New York Times