Found in translation

Warfighters often need it. So
do paramedics. And so do travelers. We're talking about
language translation. It can be
a matter of life or death.
Codetalker plans to launch
a new service this month that
will quickly pair you with
an appropriate translator
wherever you can use a cell
phone.

With the Codetalker service,
users go to http://www.codetalkerinc.com and download the
program onto a cell phone
running Microsoft Windows Mobile. Versions for other operating
systems are in the
works.

When you need a translator,
you select the language pair
you want, and the service will
locate and call the appropriate
interpreter.

Codetalker has around-the-clock
access to more than
3,000 certified interpreters in
175 languages, and co-founder
Otis Jones said the numbers
are going to grow after the
product is released.

He said he expects the service
to have 20,000 interpreters.
'We had one guy testing it in
New York City,' Jones said.
'His Urdu-speaking cab driver
was driving around Central
Park ' according to him, two
or three times around Central
Park ' on the way to La-
Guardia Airport.'

'So our tester simply called
an interpreter and said, 'This
guy is acting like he doesn't
understand English. Please
tell him in Urdu to take me
to LaGuardia Airport now
instead of driving me in
circles.''

'Then he put it on speakerphone,
and the Urdu interpreter
yelled at the driver. The
guy almost wrecked the cab, he
was so surprised.'

About the Author

Patrick Marshall is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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