CNN has an interesting video of a real time translation device designed for combat operations where troops (aka liberators) don’t understand the language of the native communities (aka the oppressed). While the language of violence is often deemed the only one terrorists understand, these devices spring from the need to be more “culturally sensitive” in long term peacekeeping, humanitarian and so-called stability operations.
Can they succeed? The video ends on a note of skepticism, but we need to see these devices as the first generation of devices and technologies, some of which I’ve covered earlier on this blog, that offer simultaneous cross-translation. As the technology improves, these products and services can only get better.