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You're on vacation in China, trying to get directions to a hotel, when you realize you've left your Mandarin phrase book on the plane. Fortunately, you have your Pocket PC, equipped with IBM's Multilingual Automatic Speech-to-Speech Translator. MASTOR recognizes both Mandarin and English, automatically translating what it hears into the other tongue, so two people who speak different languages can have a conversation. In a TIME test, when told the phrase "I would like to rent a motorboat," MASTOR translated it audibly and flashed a picture of a boat onscreen. Although in its infancyright now it can handle only English, Mandarin and a bit of Spanish and Arabicthe software is in pilot programs. Systems featuring MASTOR may crop up at airports, banks and hospitals in the next few years.