|C-3PO- Lucas Films|
In Star Trek, the universal translator was used by Ensign Hoshi Sato, the ship's communication's officer. In Star Wars, C-3PO was fluent in over 6 million forms of communication. I could have used either one in my law practice. Some of my readers may know that my law practice is located in a neighborhood officially designated by the city of New Britain as "Little Poland." The city's Polish population has been estimated at around 20,000. As one of only a handful of Connecticut attorneys that provides legal consultations in Polish, you can imagine I have been able to establish quite a niche practice. Although I consider myself fluent, occasionally I need a helping hand with certain legal terms. So where the heck was I going to get my own C-3PO. I was stuck using a frayed Polish-English dictionary. Google translate was still a bit spotty for me and I eventually stopped using it.
After reading Attorney Barrett's suggestions, I decided to give Google translate another shot. I was pleasantly surprised. I downloaded the app for free to my Android based smartphone and my iPad. It worked great on both devices. You begin by clicking on the two languages you wish to translate. I wanted to translate my English into Polish. I then clicked the microphone icon and dictated my request. "When were you arrested?" Google translate provided me with a translation of my question in Polish. When I clicked the speaker icon, a woman's voice brought the words to life. The application offered a myriad of other languages including Chinese, Yiddish and Arabic. My version had a beta conversation feature. I could ask my question in English and it would translate it into the language of my choice. The person answering could speak into my phone in their native language and it would translate it into English.
A great novelty. But could I use it in my daily law practice? I had the chance to put the application to the test with one of my German speaking clients. Although the gentleman spoke English, he felt more comfortable speaking in his native tongue. Preparing the will, I asked him if he was of "sound mind and body." He was not sure what I was trying to ask. I spoke the question into my iPad which I had placed between us and clicked the speaker icon. "Das is wunderbar!" he exclaimed. Wunderbar indeed.