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U of T research contributes to instant verbal translation

When Microsoft’s chief research officer took to the stage in Tianjin, China, last month, his language skills made an auditorium of hundreds of native Mandarin speakers applaud wildly. But he only spoke English at the conference. As he explained new developments in instantaneous translation and interpretation, Rick Rashid’s English spoken words were simultaneously translated robotically to Mandarin. The stunned crowd applauded the new computer system that can recognize human speech patterns, thanks to a U of T research team.