(Pocket-lint) - Remember the Babel Fish in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the fish you popped into your ear to translate any language? Well, now it's here.

Okay, it's not actually a fish. And only one part of it goes into your lughole. But the Translate One2One from Lingmo is a real device that can convert languages in real time (with a three to five second delay).

It currently works with English, Japanese, French, Italian, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, German and Chinese, translating one to another. There is a catch. both speakers need to be wearing one. However, it will understand the nuances of local slang and dialects.

Its AI will also understand contextual speech, translating them into sentences the recipient will recognise.

The Translate One2One is powered by IBM Watson's Natural language Processor and Language Translation APIs. It is a standalone product, so doesn't required connection to a smartphone or other external device through Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.

The device is available for purchase now and will ship in July. It is priced at $179 (£142) for one unit, although two are needed for translation between different people, so a "travel pack" containing a pair of devices comes at a discount, costing $229.


Google has also been reported in the past to be working on a "Babel Fish" device, although nothing much has been heard about the project for the last couple of years.

Writing by Rik Henderson.