The Microsoft Universal Translator might just realize what Star Trek fans have always looked forward to, the ability to translate spoken English into different tongues. Right now, we are talking about just 26 languages, and I am quite sure that there will be many other languages supported sometime down the road. The software itself will speak in the user’s own voice, and it is capable of speaking smoothly in sentences instead of in a halting manner, using individual words. Frank Soong and Rick Rashid of Microsoft are the ones behind this software, and all you need to do is speak English into the machine, and it will go ahead to convert it into other languages, ranging from Spanish to Mandarin.
No idea on whether you will need to be a native English speaker for the Universal Translator to be at its most effective. I cannot wait for the day when the world is united by a common language, or at least, we all understand one another thanks to a device such as the Universal Translator from Microsoft. It will definitely be quite the undertaking, and a noble cause.