I had my first taste of international communication today thanks to Google Wave. David Alviz runs an excellent Spanish Google Wave site called WAVEsfera. He keeps up with the latest bots and gadgets, and writes very well. A while ago it might have been a small problem that his site is entirely in Spanish. Translation has been around for a while on the web now, but it involved taking note of the site and plugging it into Babelfish or something similar. Now I have translation built right into Chrome. when I visit WAVEsfera, it asks if I want it automatically translated. Similarly, I’ve subscribed to the site in Google Reader, and it translates the site for me too! So far so good, no reason not to subscribe to international sites any more!
Then I got to thinking. I’m getting in touch with some of the people who have read First Waves, and realised that it’s the perfect chance to try Aunt-Rosie, one of the original bots released with Wave. So I fired up a wave and added WAVEsfera and the translation bot. I selected the destination language and started typing.
It was true magic.
My amazement at watching my words translated as I type is like that of a caveman witnessing fire. the experience is so novel and potentially life changing. Imagine a world where language is no longer a barrier for communicating with anyone. Think of the potential for learning!
I’m full of excitement for the world of tomorrow enabled by real-time communication and translation. We’re so close to realising the universal translator of Star Trek that I can almost taste it.
In a site note: Inspired by my discoveries, I’ve enabled instant translation to each of my posts. I know I’ve had visitors from Germany, Ireland, the USA, France, Spain, the Czech Republic and Turkey just today! If you want to read First Waves in your language, check out the “[Translate]” button beneath each post. If you’re an international reader, I’d love to hear from you! Please leave a comment, or wave me at email@example.com and don’t forget to add firstname.lastname@example.org!