Overcoming language barriers can be a
matter of life or death in Iraq. Soldiers, medical personnel, and Iraqi
citizens struggle to convey crucial information on a daily basis. While
human translators are used in many situations, there simply aren’t
enough who are willing to assist in every important conversation.
Last month, Menlo Park-based SRI International
announced that it had deployed 32 Windows XP laptops loaded with
advanced translation software for military evaluation in Iraq. The
software, called IraqComm, facilitates an English-Arabic conversation
by recording a person’s spoken words, translating them, and playing the
translation in a matter of seconds.