“We began with just English and Spanish, but today we’re expanding to 14 languages, adding Brazilian Portuguese, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, Polish, Russian and Turkish,” writes Jeff Chin, Product Manager at Google.
Jeff Chin explains that the technology is still in alpha, and subject to background noise and regional accents, but he wants more people to help train the system, which depends on examples to learn.
You will need to download the Google Translate app in Android Market (for tablets and mobile phones running Android 2.2 and up).
How is this done in real time on a small phone? I strongly suspect the sound files are translated in the cloud, as this is the approach taken previously by Google for voice recognition.