There's an IBM speech translation technology called MASTOR which is quite impressive. Installed on a Pocket PC with a SIM card, one person speaking Mandarin can have a conversation with another speaking English.
I thought of two things when I read about this. One, they should integrate it into Skype. Imagine the mathematical possibilities, Max. Two, that Far Side cartoon where the scientist invents a dog language translation device, turns it on and hears that all the dogs on the block are saying, "Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!"