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1

ID: 135401

URL: http://www.engadget.com/2019/05/15/google-translatotron-direct-speech-translation/

Date: 2019-05-15

Google's Translatotron can translate speech in the speaker's voice

It's the first tool that can directly translate speech from one language into another. Speaking another language may be getting easier. Google is showing off Translatotron, a first-of-its-kind translation model that can directly convert speech from one language into another while maintaining a speaker's voice and cadence. The tool forgoes the usual step of translating speech to text and back to speech, which can often lead to errors along the way. Instead, the end-to-end technique directly translates a speaker's voice into another language. The company is hoping the development will open up future developments using the direct translation model. According to Google, Translatotron uses a sequence-to-sequence network model that takes a voice input, processes it as a spectrogram -- a visual representation of frequencies -- and generates a new spectrogram in a target language. The result is a much faster translation with less likelihood of something getting lost along the way. The tool also works with an optional speaker encoder component, which works to maintain a speaker's voice. The translated speech is still synthesized and sounds a bit robotic, but can effectively maintain some elements of a speaker's voice. You can listen to samples of Translatotron's attempts to maintain a speaker's voice as it completes translations on Google Research's GitHub page. Some are certainly better than others, but it's a start. Google has been fine-tuning its translations in recent months. Last year, the company introduced accents in Google Translate that can speak a variety of languages in region-based pronunciations and added more langauges to its real-time translation feature. Earlier this year, Google Assistant got an " interpreter mode" for smart displays and speakers that can between 26 languages.