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The Translating! Telephone

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Douglas Adams’ Babelfish inspired dreams of unfettered universal communication. Though we are still far from achieving that goal, there are scenarios in which today's limited accuracy can create value. Our goal in the telephone-call scenario is to provide an aid for cross-language communication in the event that no other means of communication exists. The system makes extensive use of speaker-adaptation technologies to achieve reasonable, real-time speech-to-text transcription accuracy. This is then translated live using machine translation to provide speech-to-text translation and further fed into a text-to-speech system to realize speech-to-speech translation. The speech-to-text transcript and the translated transcript are shown to the users to enable validation of their intentions.

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