iChat Translator

in Mac Software edited January 2014
According to Steve Jobs keynote, many of the upcoming Leopard features are under wraps until Vista has been released. Well...now that it is out there is one chat feature that seems to be missing and would really bolster both iChat and even the iPhone. Real-time software language translation in iChat.

A simple server-side protocol or even downloadable language packages could be part of the installation for iChat. This would allow users to chat with other users in real time using translation software. Now we all know that current translation software is by no means perfect (try google's translate), but it is certainly effective enough to hold a basic conversation...especially between two western languages that both use latin characters.

You could have a tiny pull down menu in each tabbed iChat window that offered a variety of different languages. Just select english as your language and french as your friends language and...voila! As long as a translation database (including most slang words) was maintained on a server, a simple replace engine could handle the translations that could be built in to the core of the application. In romance languages it might even be possible to conjugate verbs based on sex simply by inputing the friends gender.

I would love it so much if SJ were to unveil this type of feature on the iPhone as well. It could even carry over to sms text messaging. I can just imagine the marketing ads now with those cute asian peripheral girls from the mac guy/pc guy ads last year. But only this time, mac guy could be inviting them all out to dinner while pc guy can only clumsily rattle off exchange rates.

It might be difficult to make such a system work in real time with different chat clients involved (such as aim, icq and .mac) but it is something to think about. I'm sure those companies would jump on board if possible so that windows users could soon enjoy the same benefits of this type of technology.
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