Check your calendar, friends, for the first time in a long time I was just wowed by a tech story. Google says it’s working on smartphone software that would automatically translate foreign languages into your native tongue. So, if you’re talking to your Venezuelan pen pal, and he says, “No me gusta el fútbol americano,” you can react in horror as you try to explain to him the importance of a game where more time is spent setting up plays than actually executing them is the greatest sport in the world. Porqueria.
If all goes according to plan, the software could be ready in just a “couple” of years, which is to say Google has no idea when it’ll be ready for public consumption.
You’ll recall that Google already has a fairly robust translation software suite, and it’s totally free. It’s not entirely machine translation, though, which is generally rubbish, since people can help contribute with certain words and phrases that might not mean what the literal definition suggests.
Like, I just used the word “rubbish” to mean that machine translation is not always very accurate, not that it’s refuse.
All part of Google’s plan to ensure that humanity is fully dependent on its services, I suppose.
Here’s a tip: learn Spanish or French or Italian in high school, and you can pretty easily pick up any other romance language with not too much effort. Spanish and Italian and Portuguese are pretty much “mods,” to use a PC game word, of Latin, so it all works out.