Macenstein's got the tip
on the Army using iPods in Iraq to speak Arabic. Vcommunicator Mobile is a hardware/software setup
(the iPod straps to your arm,
and gets a small speaker hooked up to it) that allows soldiers in Iraq to "speak" Arabic by choosing and playing certain phrases through an iPod-like interface. Very interesting-- the Arabic text even shows up on the screen as the sound clip is being played, and phonetic translations and simulated graphics of suggested gestures for each phrase are included in the browser.
A new Nano version is planned (having the whole thing in a Flash drive will probably make it a little more sturdy), but for now Mac says the 10th Mountain Division will be hauling around
160 iPods to speak phrases like "Please get out of the car," and "may I see your ID?"
Here's hoping the whole thing is working as well as Vcom3D is saying that it does-- clear communication is invaluable, especially in an environment as volatile as Iraq. Just another great use for Apple's little mp3 player.