June 17, 2002
Excuse me?

"British/Welsh/Australian Readers Wanted," the classified ad read. "Earn $50 to read simple English text for 1.5 hours. Call Ping."

Variations on that appeal have been popping up in newspapers and on lampposts throughout the city. Earlier this year, the sought-after languages were Hindi, Polish and French.

Ping Tang, the man who answers the phone call, works in a voice-over studio on West 57th Street, where he is gathering raw material for a "Star Trek"-inspired gadget: a voice-recognition device that translates spoken English for foreigners. With the device, a Japanese business executive could, theoretically, decipher the mutterings of a New York cabbie.

The whole weird story. Free lunch to anyone who gets his/her voice recorded.

Posted by kio at June 17, 2002 02:52 PM
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