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Google set to release real-time translation app

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Google will soon release a new version of Google Translate that translates speech in real time.

Just last month Microsoft released Skype Translator, and app that could translate between Spanish and English in real time. Now Google is set to launch its own take on such a tool, according to a new report from the New York Times.

Google's effort should reach far more people and be more flexible than Skype's earlier effort.

For one thing, the new Google Translate will initially manifest itself as a free update to the Google Translate app for Android, which means that hundreds of millions of users will see the benefit. Skype Translator is only available to just a few thousand early users.

There's also that whole limitation of the Skype Translator application to just Spanish and English (though there's now a waiting list for the Chinese and Russian languages). It's not known how many of Google Translate's supported languages will be incorporated from the off, but we'd assume that there will be more than two for such a wide roll-out.

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The new Google Translate app will listen out for when someone is speaking a popular language, and will automatically turn this speech into written text.

Apparently, Google will also soon announce an app that lets you hold your phone's camera up to a foreign street sign and have it automatically translated for you on-screen.

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