Microsoft Demonstrates Vocal Translator

Experimental programs that use speech recognition to perform real-time language translations have been kicking around for years now, but Microsoft took the idea to a new level at its event last week.

Like other translators, the software developed by Microsoft Research allows you to talk to it in your native tongue and send it out the speaker of a device as another language -- Spanish, French, Chinese, or such.

What comes out of that speaker, though, isn't the ersatz speech of a computer robot, but an ersatz approximation of what you sound like.

What's more, the software will create a 3D image of your head that makes it look as if you're speaking the translation.

Called Monolingual TTS, the system currently has 26 languages in its repertoire.

Acquainting the system with a voice does take more time than it does in your typical speech recognition program -- about an hour of training Monolingual TTS in your vocal tones.