University without Language Barriers

Introducing the First Simultaneous Translation Service by Computer


Simultaneous Speech Translation

In an increasingly mobile and global world, universities are faced with the problem of language barriers like never before.  Should a German university switch to English, or must all students learn German before enrolling?  On June 11th, we unveiled a third solution:  the world‘s first automatic simultaneous translation service at a university.  The lecture translator automatically records, transcribes and translates the speech of a lecturer in real time, and students can follow the lecture in their own language on their PC or mobile phone.  We showed the service in operation in a lecture given in German with English output. While not always perfect, the lecture translator represents a cost effective way to assist foreign students in their academic pursuits despite language barriers.

The German lecture translator service builds on two decades of research at the International Center for Advanced Communication Technologies at KIT and its academic and commercial partners.  Support from the European Commission and the German Excellence Initiative are gratefully acknowledged.

Follow the presentations and panel discussion via the live-stream






Program: June 11, 2012, Tulla Hörsaal

10.00 - 10.05 Welcome, Horst Hippler,

President, KIT

10.05 - 10.15 Greeting Remarks, Theresia Bauer,

Minister for Research, Science and the Arts, Baden-Wuerttemberg

10.15 - 10.35 Simultaneous Translation by Machine - from Dream to actual Service,

Prof. Alex Waibel, KIT

10.35 - 10.45 Lecture Translation - Impact for KIT,

Horst Hippler, President, KIT

10.45 - 12.00 Panel Discussion

Dr. Susanne Altenberg, European Parliament

Prof. Tamim Asfour, KIT

Prof. Jaime Carbonell, Carnegie Mellon Univ.

Dr. Roberto Cencioni, European Commission

Prof. Rüdiger Dillmann, KIT

Prof. Alex Waibel, KIT

12.00 - 14.00  Reception

14.00 - 14.45 The Lecture Translator in Action - Watch its Operation in Class

Prof. Alex Waibel, KIT

Prof. Rüdiger Dillmann, KIT



Invitation June, 11, 2012

Einladung 11. Juni 2012