Okay, so Google has this expansive online translation service, which we all know, use, and sometimes even love. Google also has its own branded phone, with a voice recognition function that we frankly adore. So what's a brave new age company with bottomless pockets to do but try to splice the two together into some kind of omnilingual instant translator? Speech-to-speech translation -- long the exclusive plaything of fanciful sci-fi writers -- is said by Franz Och, Google's head of translation services, to be a viable possibility within a measly couple of years. The Mountain View approach to overcoming the inherent problems of variable pitch, tone and accents in speech will be to use each person's phone to accrue data on his or her linguistic idiosyncrasies, so that the more the phone's voice recognition is used, the more accurate it becomes. Sounds tres bien to us.

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Google working on voice translator phone, redefining synergy