Thursday, April 5, 2012

Local Lawyer Speaks Over 50 Languages.

One of the great advantages I get from reading other legal blogs is I often pick up tips that help my own law practice. My reading list continues to expand as I come across new sources of information.  In recent weeks, I have particularly enjoyed Attorney John Harding's "Family Law Lawyer Tech & Practice Law Blog."  I had recently purchased an iPad and have found his posts to be quite useful.  One of John's recent posts lead me to Attorney Josh Barrett's "Tablet Legal Blog" where he laid out 60 iPad Apps which he presented at the ABA Tech Show in Chicago.  I took his advice and tried several of them out.  While I was familiar with some of the apps, he did open my eyes to several new ones.  My particular favorite was the new improved Google Translate app.

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.       

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

I tried it out. Wow! How did I miss this? Very cool. I can always count on this blog for writing for the technologically disadvantaged. The normal folks lol Thanks for the tip

Mikethelawstudent said...

Hmmm. I'll have to try it. Language barriers are always tough.

Mike

TOPEKA ATTORNEY

St Kitts Real Estate said...

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Criminal Law Firms Toronto said...

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John Harding said...

Thanks for the mention.

Rochester Lawyer said...

lawyers brief a court in writing on the issues in a case before the issues can be orally argued. They may have to perform extensive research into relevant facts and law while drafting legal papers and preparing for oral argument.

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