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Microsoft To Launch Universal Language Translator

Wouldn't it be great to master several languages fluently? Of course it would - that's why Microsoft has plans to release its very own polyglot-bot.

You know how it is, you meet someone new and instantly there's a connection - but wait, English isn't their first language. What if there was a way you could communicate without resorting to carrying around a translation dictionary, or enlisting the services of an interpreter? Well now you can, thanks to Microsoft Research and its exciting new translation software.

According to TechRadar, research scientist, Frank Soong, gave a demonstration of the multilingual miracle at Microsoft's home turf in Redmond, CA. Asking Microsoft's chief research officer, Rick Rashid, simply uttered a paragraph in English, and one go of the prototype software saw his sentence translated into Italian, Mandarin and Spanish.

Soong explained: "For a monolingual speaker traveling in a foreign country, we'll do speech recognition followed by translation, followed by the final text to speech output [in] a different language, but still in his own voice."

In order to work its magic, the machine must first undergo an hour of training so as to create a model of the speaker's voice. Next, it is integrated into Microsoft's standard text-to-speech model of the translated language you wish to be used, et voila! You are now one smooth-talking polyglot. Now, if only we could go back in time and use this software for our school exams...