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Conversation Starter

Seducing Spies in Six Languages

UD - SpeechTransSuch is life in a world capital: you start your day at the Spanish Embassy, renegotiating chorizo tariffs. Then it’s off to a summit on Franco-American relations. And finally, some high-level late-night talks with a leggy Russian who may or may not be a covert agent.

Your goal in all cases: a little cross-cultural understanding. Your strategy: dropping in a few phrases in your companion’s native tongue. Your assistant: your phone...

Enter SpeechTrans, a new mobile app that instantly spins your witty turns of phrase into translated gold, available now.

You’ve seen those earpieces that UN delegates wear at meetings. This is like that, only far less awkward. You’ll merely speak into your phone whatever Bond-like quip is on your mind (“Shall we continue these negotiations in private?”). A few seconds later, you’ll hear it read back to you—in a male or female voice—fully translated.

As of now, SpeechTrans also offers voice recognition in French and German, so once you buy your new friends from Munich a round at Biergarten Haus, feel free to ask them to speak into the mic so you can better understand their profuse thanks. You can also get typed translations from English to Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Russian, although voice recognition for those languages is on the way as well.

Hopefully before your trip to Carnival.

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