Do you speak…dolphin?

Okay, let’s face it.  We translators pride ourselves on being fluent in other languages.  But here’s a new one for the list:  Dolphin.


Well… computers now recognize patterns in the speech of wild dolphins.   A Cetation Hearing and Telemetry device, or CHAT, is currently being used by artificial intelligence researchers at Georgia Tech.  Divers are attempting to communicate with these creatures using a two-way translation device.  Employing a call-and-response method, the divers will play one of eight sounds they have already created that correspond to the dolphins’ desire to play, such as “play with seaweed” or “ride the boat’s wake”.  The divers will then figure out whether the dolphins repeat the sounds and eventually will learn to recognize the dolphins’ accent (who knew dolphins had accents?!) and ultimately how to decipher the mammals’ natural sounds.

Wow!  Before long, Eloquence Language Services can offer Dolphin to English as a niche.  Then Dolphin to French, or Dolphin to Spanish, or…   I wonder how many millions of requests that will garner?

Working in this communication business is always interesting due to its variety, but a translation job like this one?  Um, that definitely takes the…seaweed!

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