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NTT DoCoMo begins testing automated Japanese / English translation app that actually works (video)

Zach Honig
November 10, 2011
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We went hands-on with NTT DoCoMo's menu translator last month at CEATEC, but now Japan's leading carrier has a new translation tool to show off -- and it's quite impressive. The smartphone-based service analyzes your spoken word in Japanese or English, letting you converse with your phone in either language and presenting an on-screen and audible translation. Even more notable, however, is the near-real-time call analysis, in which the device translates your call immediately after you finish speaking each line. We defer our interlingual calls to our Japanese staffers, but an app like this would make it possible to converse directly with folks in other countries without the need for a human translator. NTT is claiming a success rate of between 80 and 90 percent, which is a significant improvement over the version we saw demoed earlier this year. The carrier started testing the service with 400 users today, and hopes to make it available to all subscribers in the second half of 2012. Jump past the break to see it in action in a pair of Japanese-language demos.





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