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Software that can translate spoken English into spoken Chinese almost instantly has been demonstrated by Microsoft.
The software preserves intonation and cadence so the translated speech still sounds like the original speaker.
Microsoft said research breakthroughs had reduced the number of errors made by the instant translation system.
Microsoft Shows Off Instant English-Chinese Translation Software [bbc.co.uk]
"Of course, there are still likely to be errors in both the English text and the translation into Chinese, and the results can sometimes be humorous," said Mr Rashid in the blogpost. "Still, the technology has developed to be quite useful."
Phone call translator app to be offered by NTT Docomo [bbc.co.uk]
NTT Docomo - the country's biggest mobile network - will initially convert Japanese to English, Mandarin and Korean, with other languages to follow.
It is the latest in a series of telephone conversation translators to launch in recent months.
The products have the potential to let companies avoid having to use specially trained multilingual staff, helping them cut costs. They could also aid tourism.
However, the software involved cannot offer perfect translations, limiting its use in some situations.