Sharp has developed a prototype personal translator that should make life easier for Japanese tourists when they travel abroad.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nCeatec EntranceThe prototype translator, which works only with English and Japanese, is roughly the same size as a small PDA and sits comfortably in the hand. When a user speaks into the translator in either English or Japanese, the gray-scale liquid crystal display (LCD) will first display a transcription before offering a translation into the other language.If the translation is done from Japanese into English, the user can press a button and the translator will pronounce the English phrase using its text-to-speech function. This function does not work with Japanese.The translator, which was on display at the Ceatec exhibition in Chiba, Japan, relies on voice-recognition software from IBM and then applies translation software used in Sharp\u2019s pocket translators to convert this text into Japanese or English as required.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nSharp TranslatorCurrently, the device supports only Japanese and English, but it has a Micro SD memory card slot, which allows for Sharp to add support for\u00a0more languages, said Toshiyuki Matsumara, a company spokesman. Sharp plans to commercialize the translator at the end of this year, Matsumara said. Pricing for the device, which will be sold only\u00a0in Japan, has not yet been decided.-Sumner Lemon, IDG News Service (Singapore Bureau)Related Links:\n\nSharp Develops Triple-View LCD\n\nCeatec: Japanese PC Makers Lead Convergence Push\n\nFujitsu Shows Off Prototype PC Designs at Ceatec\n\nNTT DoCoMo Unveils Fuel Cell Prototype at Ceatec\n\nIntelligent Putter Boosts Your Golf Game\n\nHitachi Maxell Develops Wafer-Thin Storage DiscCheck out our CIO News Alerts and Tech Informer pages for more updated news coverage.