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I stumbled across a new online chat application that brings together people and language translation. MeGlobe calls itself an instant messaging application but I’d argue that they offer a public chat service rather than a traditional IM offering. MeGlobe offers a public directory so you can find other people who speak the language you are interested in. It’s great for discovery in that regard.
MeGlobe offers real-time translation into: English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Russian, Dutch, Greek, Swedish, Arabic, Japanese, Korean and Chinese Traditional and Simplified.
Josh Lowensohn reviewed MeGlobe on Webware and compared it to Meebo in that it opens a window with a chat interface. Josh tested it with French-English and I tested it with German-English and it did a good job. As Josh notes, if you change your language during a chat, MeGlobe will translate the history into the currently selected language.
MeGlobe isn’t connected to any of the major IM networks which will hurt their user adoption. I could see MeGlobe partnering with Meebo or eBuddy to inject the MeGlobe translation service into the already powerful IM services. On the flip side, your current buddies on any IM service probably already speak the same language you do.
Here’s the company’s demo video:
Editor’s note: eBuddy is a current CN sponsor.