Automatic translation of speech practically sub-titles – in your native language! – the speech of foreign-language speakers.
In a nutshell, speech translation is the combination of two hard computer science problems, namely speech recognition (automatic transcription of speech into text) and machine translation (automatic translation of a text from a source to a target language).
While both technologies do not work perfectly, it is impressive to see them working in combination, in particular when we have not even rudimentary knowledge of the source language – for many of us, this is the case for the Chinese or the Arabic language. The mathematical methods behind both speech recognition and machine translation are related, and the systems draw their knowledge from large amounts of example data.
Speech translation is a computationally and memory-intensive process, so the typical set-up is to have one or several computers in the internet serving the speech translation requirements of many users.
RWTH provides on open-source speech recognizer and various open-source tools free of charge for academic usage. Other usage should be subject to a bilateral agreement.