We know very well what Google considers beta -- after all, Gmail, Docs, and Calendar all shared that status until mid-2009 -- but here's a chance to check out an experiment from Mountain View that's "still in its earliest stages." Google Translate for Android is celebrating its first birthday this month, and to celebrate, an update will be pushed out offering a number of UI tweaks as well as an alpha version of Conversation Mode. Never heard of it? A demo was given at IFA 2010, but in case you're still in the dark, it essentially lets two speakers talk to one another in their respective native tongues while the app speaks real-time translations. Right now it'll only do English and Spanish -- and even then expect some hiccups with "regional accents, background noise or rapid speech" -- but the Babel fish has to start somewhere. Need more dialects / languages? Be patient, get a job for Google, or better yet, seek gainful employment with NIST / DARPA. Video from the IFA presentation is after the break and starts around the 26-minute mark.


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Google Translate for Android turns one, introduces experimental Conversation Mode (video)