Jan 14 2005

Japan Backs Multilingual Devices

Published by at January 14, 2005 1:45 pm under CAT/MT,Translation

Japanese who command no foreign languages may soon converse with English-speaking guests over a phone connected to a translation system.

The system, being sponsored by the Japanese government, will offer audio-text translations in Japanese, Chinese, English and Korean, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported Thursday.

The project, likely to be completed during fiscal 2005, will enable multilingual communications through cell phones and personal digital assistants.

The system would have a database of 500,000 phrases, or 5 million words, in the four languages.

Current translation systems have much smaller vocabularies and limited voice-recognition ability, and can translate only the most commonly used greetings or phrases.

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