Translation app lets DOD, South Korea talk shop
- By Gregory Slabodkin
- Feb 08, 1999
HONOLULUHandheld PCs running a translation application are helping U.S. and South
Korean forces deployed in Korea bridge a language gap.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technologys Lincoln Laboratory developed the
software that lets users speak either English or Korean into a microphone-equipped PC,
which then produces a translation.
The translation app is put to good use, Defense Department officials said late last
year at the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Associations TechNet
Asia-Pacific 98 conference.
Korean is classified by the State Departments Foreign Service as a super-hard
language to learn, more difficult than Russian or Persian, both of which State classifies
as hard to learn.
We have become bilingual in U.S. Forces Korea because we now have a large number
of Korean-Americans serving, which is a real blessing, said Air Force Maj. Gen.
Michael Hayden, deputy chief of staff for U.S. Forces Korea.
But that doesnt do away with the language barrier. Weve tried to
overcome that with technology, he said.