Breaking barriers

James Kass jameskass at
Thu Oct 21 02:42:10 CDT 2021

A recent article announced a new phone with superior translation 
abilities.  The phone translates text, speech, and images of text.

If interested, here's the article:

The article doesn't reveal the inner workings, but it's likely that any 
computer text entered to or produced by Live Translate would be in 
Unicode.  Although this is emerging technology and the translation 
modules may not yet be as robust or numerous as we wish, it might be 
expected that this software and any spin-offs will become powerful and 
versatile enough to handle most any kind of source text.

This would mean that if an image of text can be scanned from a computer 
monitor, it could be translated.  The underlying source encoding 
wouldn't matter, it could be some obscure code page, Unicode PUA, or 
even a specialty custom ASCII font as long as the source display is 
correctly enabled and the translation software handles the source 
language(s).  Since the resulting data would likely be stored in 
Unicode, both pre- and post-translation -- the barrier between 
conflicting older encodings which Unicode has practically removed would 
then be completely demolished.

P.S. - Too bad about human translators, though.  Being a translator used 
to be a lucrative field with skilled translators in high demand.  Newer 
technology, as it breaks down the communication barrier between 
languages, will probably have an effect on translator employment, if it 
hasn't already.

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