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We carried out a one-year project to build a portable speech-to-speech translation system in a new language that could run on a small portable computer. Croatian was chosen as the target language. The resulting system was tested with real users on a trip to Croatia in the spring of 2001. We describe its basic components, the methods we used to build them, initial evaluation results, and related significant observations. This work was done in conjunction with the US Army Chaplain School; chaplains are often the only personnel in a position to communicate with local people over non-military issues such as medical supplies, refugees, etc. This paper thus reports on a realistic instance of rapidly deploying and field-testing a speech-to-speech translator using current technology.

Alan W Black 2002-06-18