There are a lot of great voice-to-text translation apps out, including Google Translate, Microsoft / Skype Translate, and various smaller names like Speechlogger and iTranslate Voice.

I work in an office where I'm the only non-Chinese speaker. I am surrounded by Chinese language conversations all day, many of which apparently have to do with me or my projects.

I would like to be able to have an app running on my laptop or phone which constantly attempts to translate any conversations it picks up from the cubicles adjacent to mine.

The problems I've been having are:

  • Most of these are either siloed within an app like Skype and/or only try to translate in short bursts
  • While the conversations are very loud and clear to me, apps like Google Translate apparently only work if you speak directly into the mic from less than a foot away

In an ideal world this Babel-fish-like translator is what I'd want, but this one doesn't do Chinese and it hasn't been shipped yet anyway.

Preferably it should be for Windows (desktop) or iOS, though Linux would be fine too. While I was hoping for "free" let's say no price limit for the purposes of this question.

  • The problem is identifying and separating the conversation streams. Translation is partially solved, but identifying different speakers without position data and considering that people move and interrupt each other, not counting infinite types of background noise, is very hard. A good development team could make a proof of concept in 2 years for about $3M, but honestly I’d start with English and a Roman language, not an inflection-based one like Chinese. Also a hardware solution with an array of microphones would be most expedient. – Wilfred Smith Dec 27 '19 at 7:25

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.