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Last Updated: Thursday, 31 May 2007, 15:08 GMT 16:08 UK
Student designs translator device
Impression of the device
The device is worn in a similar way to a wrist watch
A university student has come up with a new gadget that he hopes may help soldiers and civilians in Iraq.

"Ahky" is worn like a wristwatch and translates vital phrases.

Iraqi Amin Ismail, 21, has created it as part of his product design course at Derby University and is now looking for a company to pick up on his idea.

He said he hoped that, by translating statements into Arabic, it would improve communication between forces personnel and Iraqi civilians.

'Ease communication'

He said: "The device will pick up phrases from military personnel and it will translate instantly into Arabic language in real time which will improve the communication between Iraqi people and military personnel.

"It will ease the communication and it will make the Iraqi people understand the British military personnel in their mother tongue."

Dougie Muirhead, of the 4th Battalion Parachute Regiment said the device would help in the initial stages of a military operation where an interpreter would not be immediately available.

He added: "For a junior commander, when he is on the ground, they quite regularly operate without an interpreter, so therefore if you can communicate initially, (it will) alleviate some problems hopefully until an interpreter comes."

"Ahky" is the Arabic translation for "speak".

The device works on voice-recognition technology and could help in high risk situations using phrases like "don't shoot", "stay back" and "help will be here soon".

Wrist worn language translator

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