With the Internet connecting the furthest ends of Earth, the ability to communicate with speakers of other languages is more important today than ever before. New technologies are starting to appear which make multilingual communication fast and painless. Translation tools are particularly important for businesses, which often operate in more than one country.
A new feature built into Google Translate for Android, Conversation Mode is a little rough around the edges, but it’s basically your own personal Babel Fish. It does what Word Lens does but in real-time speech, translating English and Spanish.
It’s as easy as pressing a key when the language is being spoken — let’s say you’re trying to order some food in Spanish. It translates what you say into the phone on the fly, and then reads the Spanish version out loud, so the waiter can understand. The waiter can then respond in Spanish, and the phone will convert it to English, speaking it out loud.
You can imagine how crucial this would be to travelers — and while it can only compute English and Spanish for now, I’m betting Google’s working on other languages. Check out a preview video of the app above, from a few months ago, or a user video below.
Android users with 2.1 or higher can Download the new Google Translate now.