Language barriers suck. They suck so much that Hollywood has long used them as a foible in romantic movies. Sci-fi, of course, has long had a fix for such problems: the universal translator. Most iconically utilized in Star Trek, the device is about to step off the silver screen and into reality.
Google has been developing its translator software for quite a while, but the tech giant now claims to have working prototypes of a real-time, vocal translator device, which is approaching 100 percent accuracy. Someday soon, Google will simply have an app for language barriers. Some language translations, English and Portuguese for example, seem to be nearly ready for market.
One of the challenges facing Google's real-time translator is the difference in syntax, or the ordering of words, from language to language. Even if its translator is successful, real-time translations might sound more like talking to Yoda than the picture-perfect translators seen in Star Trek. Maybe it's this issue that leads sources at Google to state that the universal translator is likely still a couple years away.
By then, Google hopes to not only be able to translate for you seamlessly, but to practically read your mind, anticipating your every need. Google also hopes to swap their basic search engine out for something more akin to Star Trek's semi-sentient computer. Talk about boldly going where no one has gone before.