I have always liked languages. Foreign languages, especially English had a special meaning for a kid growing up behind the Iron Curtain in early 1970s in Poland. As we were forced to learn Russian from a young age of 8 years old, learning English was a sort of a rebellious thing. I was always fascinated by the sound of American English and from the beginning I began to imitate it and try to speak with an American accent. Not sure exactly why, but it may have something to do with certain Han Solo and Luke Skywalker characters..
Fast forward almost 40 years, the Russian forced upon me is almost gone, although as times have changed, you also change your attitude to the languages and cultures. Russian is a beautiful language and I regret not putting more effort into it. I have always liked Spanish as well, which I am learning now using some new language tools, like Babbel and Duolingo. German is very cool and after spending some time in Germany, I have come to appreciate it as well.
Well, it looks like in the first half of 2018, the language barriers are finally being broken for good. Technology is an amazing tool and the folks at Waverly Labs are doing something that was previously impossible. They came up with a Pilot translator: a combination of cleverly designed earpiece(s), an app, data connection and machine learning, which can instantly translate a foreign language during a live conversation.
I had invested in Waverly Labs via Indiegogo campaign some time ago and just received my Pilot. I immediately decided to check my Polish skills, I mean Polish to English translation. I placed the single unit in my ear, entered listening mode and started speaking Polish. To my astonishment, I was being fed an instant English translation to my earpiece. It was a strange feeling, as if my brain was split, at the same time working on simultaneous streams of words. Translation was quite accurate for common phrases, a bit off when using slang or speaking faster. All in all, I was very impressed and as the Pilot learns from more translations, as more users are actively utilizing the system, it will become more accurate.
Now, off to test the conversation mode. But, first I have got to corner my Spanish friend Julio and give him a hard time about his Los Blancos! I hope the Pilot can keep up with his rapid Castilian Spanish response!