You might be wondering why so many aliens in Sci-Fi movies and TV shows speak English. Sometimes it's a coincidence. Other times it's a plotline that's conveniently incorporated into the storyline.
Other times, it's this fictional product known as a universal translator. But nowadays, Translation Earbuds are just like Translation Device that work like those fictional products that translate in real-time.
What is the working principle of translation earbuds?
Multiple companies have developed a variety of translation earbuds. Each company relies on different technologies.
Real-time speech transcription is a combination of several technologies. Each technology has seen rapid improvements in recent years. From input to output, the chain looks like this:
Input Conditioning: The earbuds record background noises and interfere with and pick up the voice of the user. The "denoising" feature removes background noises, while the voice activity detector (VAD) turns the system on only when the right person speaks. To improve the accuracy of the VAD, touch control is used.
Language identification: This system uses machine learning to determine the language being spoken in a matter of seconds. This is crucial because all that follows is specific to a particular language. Phonetic characteristics alone cannot distinguish languages. Language pairs such as Ukrainian, Russian, Urdu, and Hindi are almost identical in terms of their units of sound or "phonemes", so entirely new acoustic representations were needed.
Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR): ASR uses acoustic modeling to convert recorded speech into a string phonemes, and then language modeling is used to turn the phonetic information into words. ASR systems use spoken grammar rules, context and probability, and then language modeling to convert the phonetic information into words.
Natural Language Processing: NLP is a machine translation service that converts one language to the other. This involves more than just substituting nouns or verbs. It also includes decoding the meaning and then re-encoding it as an output in another language. With all the complexities and nuances that make second languages so difficult to learn, this isn't as easy as simply substituting nouns or verbs.
Speech Synthesis: Speech Synthesis, or Text-to-Speech (TTS), is a method that synthesizes natural-sounding speech from a sequence of words (or phonetic data). Finally, the output is sent to TTS software in the target language. This creates a compressed recording. The output is then, as usual, sent back to the TTS software for the target language, creating a compressed recording of it.