BabelChat – Why hasn’t someone done this?

Why hasn’t anyone created a chat client that translates between languages? All of the technology to do this exist *right now*. We have translating software on the web (e.g. AltaVista’s BabelFish, and Google’s Language Tools). We have any number of chat clients that support plug-ins (e.g. trillian, jabber). I’m surprised that all chat clients don’t come with translate setting that will translate between two languages on the fly. It seems so obvious and beneficial.

Update 02-12-2006

This entry was posted on LazyWeb today (thanks Jim). I’m looking forward to comments.

I had fun discussing this post with Brad Rubenstein on his blog Odd Quanta.

Update 02-20-2006

I’m please to report that the Trillian plug-in suggested by jacob harvey has been very useful. I tried it out on a native spanish speaker who speaks english. At first he spoke to me in english but then switched to spanish. We had a good 30 minute chat with the translators help. I’m looking forward to using the translator with his mom – who does not speak english. Thanks to Jacob for pointing me in the direction of the translator.

Update 02-28-2006
A commentor suggested another translator at

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