Jajah Babel is a fun little new service to kick off your Beijing Olympics weekend. The feature — demoed by Webware’s Josh Lowensohn here — will translate anything you want into Mandarin Chinese via phone in a matter of seconds.
All you do is dial in to the access number and speak. The automated system will confirm what you said in English, using its monotone computer voice, then repeat it back to you in Mandarin. Babel can also translate from Mandarin into English.
This may not have any earth-shattering applications, but it’s novel. And hey, you never know when you might have a random need to communicate with someone in Chinese (outside of ordering the Kung Pao, which you probably already know how to do).
The service is free for the U.S., the U.K., and Australia using the numbers below:
Incidentally, Google has also just revealed an iPhone-friendly version of its web-based Translate tool, accessible via mobile browser at translate.google.com. I’ve never felt so linguistically enabled.