An interesting project, described by Torie Bosch at Slate:

Inspired by the still-in-development Project Glass—Google’s foray into augmented-reality eyewear—British DIYer Will Powell created a pair of specs that can display a rough translation during a conversation. Below, Powell and his sister speak in English and Spanish over a chess game. It’s still a work in progress, but it’s a beautiful way to show how technology could break down language barriers.

Here‘s a direct link to the YouTube video. Thanks, Eric!


  1. “I’m good, thank you” said in an English accent. Pah! I don’t care about his bloody moral status.

  2. Very interesting but I wonder if “I’ve captured your bishop” is translated as “me he comido tu alfil” (litt. I’ve eaten your…)or “he capturado tu obispo”. By the way, “alfil” came of Spanish Arabic (finally of Pahlevi) and means elephant.

  3. I’m sorry: “Pahlavi”. Obviously, as a translator I’m useless.

  4. “Rarely do I encounter a blog that’s both educative and entertaining”
    In spamo veritas.

  5. The hard-core language nerds and linguists out there will eschew and curse this because they believe it will discourage people from learning languages, and it may or may not, but it doesn’t matter because in my opinion the only reason to learn a language is to be able to communicate with people, so therefore if technology can allow us to communicate with people who don’t speak our language such that we don’t have to learn that language, well fine, I don’t really care. It doesn’t matter how the communication occurs just so long as it occurs.
    This may or may not discourage people from learning new languages, but it doesn’t really matter to be honest.

  6. Doubtless language is for communication. The question is, communication with whom, and and what level? An English/Arabic translation program like this won’t help you read even a street sign, never mind legal papers, in the language you don’t know.

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