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At TechFest 2012, Microsoft demoed its latest project out of Asia: a multilingual voice output using machine-based text to speech technology. As companies enter the global marketplace, the demand for multilingual resources increases exponentially. Managers can offer IT training with the device prior to sending a representative abroad.According to Microsoft, the device is able to convert monolingual recordings into speech sentences of different languages, which creates a mixed-coded bilingual TTS system. The company has recordings of 26 languages, which are used to build the TTS systems for corresponding languages. Microsoft can synthesize any mixed language pair out of the 26 languages.At the event, Frank Soong, principal researcher at Microsoft Research Asia, demonstrated how the technology worked. He converted American English into Mandarin to help an American tourist find his way through Beijing. The device was able to give key directions to the tourist in English, while maintaining the street names and landmarks in Mandarin.ZDNet reported a multilingual translator has many purposes in the business world, helping smaller companies break out into new markets and expand their resources globally. It can also be useful on a much smaller scale, such as with built-in car navigation systems that help tourists find their way through foreign cities.
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