Article Excerpt: Skype hopes to make its international connections easier — though perhaps still a little awkward — with a new feature that automatically translates conversations almost in real time. Parent company Microsoft unveiled the new technology at the Code technology conference on Tuesday, where Skype vice president Gurdeep Pall made small talk in English with a German-speaking Skype manager in Europe.After saying a sentence in English, an automated voice translated his words into German.
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California State Assembly Speaker John Perez joined San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and other state legislators at a North Beach community health center this morning in support of a bill that proposes increasing the number of medical interpreters for residents with limited English skills. As part of the bill introduced by Perez last Friday, the state Department of Health Care Services would establish a program to provide and reimburse medical interpreter services for those enrolled in the state’s health care program, MediCal. Up to 75 percent of funding for the services is eligible to come from a federal matching program, he said.
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Link to the full text of AB 2325 here.
Article Excerpt: One Hour Translation COO Lior Libman thought he saw a major market opportunity in the translation market – and he was right. Necessity is the mother of invention, and innovation – and necessity is what led Lior Libman to build his innovative on-line translation service, One Hour Translation. With 15,000 translators in 120 countries working for him, translating between more than 2,500 language pairs (all the combinations of the 75 languages OHT handles), OHT, if not the largest translation service in the world, is, Libman said, “the fastest,” adding that the company’s name isn’t just a marketing gimmick; OHT will do translations (single page, up to 200 words) in an hour or less, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Today, video games can virtually transport you to anywhere on the planet. You can be a solider on the frontlines, in the middle of the desert or in a foreign marketplace. While this may seem like many military-driven video games, it could be a life or death situation for a real-life soldier in terms of being able to communicate on the ground. That's why an L.A. based video game company is trying to bridge the gap for soldiers who need to learn language and cultural survival skills in foreign countries through an interactive video game.
KABUL — A growing number of Afghan interpreters who worked alongside American troops are being denied U.S. visas allotted by Congress because the State Department says there is no serious threat against their lives.
But the interpreters, many of whom served in Taliban havens for years, say U.S. officials are drastically underestimating the danger they face. Immigration attorneys and Afghan interpreters say the denials are occurring just as concerns about Taliban retribution are mounting due to the withdrawal of U.S. forces.
Article Excerpt: When science-fiction writers envision the future of mankind, a number of ideas for improving the world repeatedly pop up. They include free, unlimited energy and spaceships traveling at the speed of light. And they include the creation of miniature computers that serve as universal translators, eliminating all language barriers. The last of these dreams, at least, is something Google intends to make a reality. The man in charge of the project is a computer scientist from a small village near Erlangen, in southwestern Germany.
...[Google Translate's] team, headquartered at Google's main campus in Silicon Valley, has grown considerably. It includes several German computer scientists, but not a single linguist. Och himself isn't exactly a talented linguist, either. On the contrary, he says, "I have trouble learning languages, and that's precisely the beauty of machine translation: The most important thing is to be good at math and statistics, and to be able to program."