24 June 2009

HOW TO: Chat in Real-time in 45 Languages

23 06 2009 - Worldwide communication has come a long way due to social media, but there are a couple of barriers that affect conversation across borders. One would be the ease of communication.

image Most web-based communication platforms require signups or downloadable clients. The bigger roadblock to worldwide communication though are the thousands of languages that are in use today.

A new and very interesting service is trying to solve both of these problems using a simple and innovative platform: BabelWith.Me. BabelWith.Me is a web-based group chat tool with a major twist: it automatically translates conversations into 45 languages.

The Alpha service is incredibly straightforward to use. Just click the “Start a Conversation” button on the homepage…and that’s it. That one click creates an entirely new chatroom that you can invite friends, colleagues, and strangers to use. It’s a simple interface, but with two important features. First, it has easy-to-use sharing buttons for Facebook, Twitter, and email. This makes it simple to bring others into the conversation.

The important feature of BabelWith.Me though is the auto-translation system. You have the option of selecting your language (we believe the default is either your browser’s set language or English). Once you do, anytime you speak, it will be automatically translated for all other chat participants. It also kindly adds a copy of the original message in case the translation goes bad or if you understand the language. We’re pretty certain the translations are powered by Google Translate.

BabelWith.Me Image

It’s not perfect though, and thus we have two suggestions for BabelWith.Me to really improve the product’s utility and shareability. First, the service could use an option to create vanity URLs. It would be so much easier to send friends than it is to send the current Mashable chat URL, The other thing BabelWith.Me should look into is embeddable chats, which would make it usable for everything from blog conversations to company customer service.

The product is not created by your typical company. It was developed by, a web service and community that broadcasts non-demoniational Christian broadcasts to fulfill its mission to help others “become fully devoted followers of Christ.” Clearly BabelWith.Me helps in its pursuit, but we do hope the tool remains open to anyone, no matter their purpose or religion.


No comments: