Sound familiar? the following image?
If you are over forty you will surely recognize it. If not, you might as well, since this series has become a one of the most famous in the history of television.
This is the communicator pin used by the crew members of the Star Trek starship to translate alien languagesWhat a blast*! how fantastic!
*Colloquial expression that used to talk about extraordinary things/events
Or maybe it's not a fantasy?
At this article we are told that this communicator pin is now is a reality: "now all you need to do is put on a headset with a microphone to translate any conversation into another language".
Humm... Yes, really?
According to the creators of the invention, with this smart headset, "two people with different languages can chat normally without knowing languages"..
Incredible, isn't it?
In addition, we are told: \"in the tests it can be seen that the translation is of a very good standard..."
BUT, attention, they also say: "...we'll have to see how it behaves with different dialects and accents".
Aha! So, after all, it may not be "a dream come true"... 🙁
What we believe is that it will probably work in very simple conversations and where only two people are involved, but Will it work in these cases?
- When they speak more than two people at the same time.
- When speakers are constantly interrupted.
- When talking to people with different accents to the "standard".
- When pronunciation is not "perfect" and sounds are eaten.
- When people speak at high speed and without pauses.
NO, it will most likely not work.
With today's technology, this is not possible. Sorry to be a spoilsport, but we will have to wait a few more years or decades for this "dream" to become a reality.
For now, it seems that this smart earpiece is useful for understanding limited and unnatural conversations.
It takes a lot more than a smart headset to understand real conversations. If you do not know why is it so complicated understand these types of conversations, read this other entry.
So, if the smart headset does not solve the problem, what can you do?
Our advice to you are:
- Listening to spontaneous, unprepared conversations with background noise.
- Working with transcriptions.
- To know the most common gestures we use in conversational Spanish.
- Saber how they sound the maximum of vocabulary and colloquial expressions.
- Knowing something dthe exciting world of pronunciation.
All this takes a lot of time, we know. Also, where do you start? How do you work the transcripts to help you understand future conversations? What are the most common gestures and vocabulary? What do you need to know about pronunciation?
Take it easy, little by little.
Let's start TODAY with some noise-cancelling exercises.
Noise remover? Yes, exercises to learn NOT to listen to what is NOT of interest, what does NOT give important information to understand the overall message.
Below you have a excerpt from a real conversation y 6 noise-cancelling exercises.
- Listen to the audio once or twice, without pausing. Do you understand what they are talking about? What would you say are the key words to understand the overall message?
- Identify the person who conveys the most meaning in relation to the topic, i.e., the one who carries the thread of the conversation (the one who speaks the longest). When does he/she speak?
- Identify the person(s) who support what you say and agree with you. What words do they use?
- The conversation is interrupted several times. When?
- There is a moment in the conversation when it splits and two conversations occur in parallel, i.e., two people continue the conversation on one side and another continues their speech on the other side. Can you identify when this happens?
- Finally, listen to the audio again. What would you say are the key words to understand the overall message? Who is saying them? Do you understand what they are talking about?
If you are interested in transcriptions and solutions to the exercisesplease, leave a comment and we will send them free of charge to your e-mail address.
And if you are interested continue to improve don't miss our upcoming weekly entrieswith more audios of real conversations y more exercises to understand conversational Spanish.
And... do you want to start speaking fluently, reduce your foreign accent or understand conversations?
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