Something really cool out of IBM research, called MASTOR.  Looks like the babelfish in your ear is becoming reality on the battlefield...

When used in Iraq, Mastor will act as an automated bi-directional, English-to-Iraqi Arabic translator capable of translating more than 50,000 English words and 100,000 Iraqi Arabic words.

For example, a U.S. military trainer looking to work with an Iraqi policeman could speak English into a microphone hooked up to the Mastor system running on a laptop. The IBM technology would recognize his English speech, translate it into Iraqi Arabic and then vocalize that translation for the Iraqi policeman to hear and vice versa. Mastor's graphical user interface displays both the original and translated phrase. It also includes what IBM calls a "back translation" of the individual words the system translated, to provide an additional level of confidence to the original speaker.
More on MASTOR also on the business2blog.

Link: Digital World Tokyo: US military to use IBM Arabic translation gear in Iraq > (Thanks, Charles)

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