I've been working on audio related projects for a while. I didn't know of any service-independent program capable of real-time phone call translation (commercial or free) and when I figured that its theoretically possible make one by combining these tools with high quality APIs, I said I'll give it a shot for YHack!
What it does
Salut enables people who don't speak the same language to communicate with each other, in real time with low latency, through a call.
One party needs to initiate the call in a computing device connected to internet, the other party does not necessarily have to have an internet connection or install any software.
Initiating a call is independent of the infrastructure. If a call can be done, translation can be done as well! (For example, translation from Skype to Skype or Skype to Landline etc.)
Challenges I ran into
Keeping the logic consistent was, by far, the most difficult of all. Figuring out sox's parameters for noise profile generation and whatnot was also quite time consuming.
Accomplishments I'm proud of
This project... and [on the related subject] pulling of two all nighters after having a 10-hour trip to get here from Santa Barbara!
What I learned
Working with with Linux, metaprogramming and gluing python and bash together and interacting with filesystem. Design of parallel programs and working with web.
What's next for Salut
A GUI is needed. I also need to add other APIs like IBM's. Detecting when the person has stopped talking can be improved. I should be implementing support for OS X and ultimately, Windows (because it's the most different).