Google Translate is here, and it is one of the first steps towards the Singularity. My prediction is that what Google may be ultimately responsible for is building the system with the best understanding of natural language. That understanding, put into real-time voice recognition, translation and synthetic speech would make for a miraculous invention, the Babelfish telephone. With the perfection of such a device, one could speak into a cell phone and have one's own voice emerge on the receiver's end in the language of the other party.
As it stands, Google Translate is not fast enough for real-time duplex conversation, but it is pretty fast, and from what I can tell of French, what my youngest can tell of Spanish and what my middle can tell of Mandarin, it's pretty accurate.
Everyday people having the ability to understand foreign languages will not change the world so much, because the world is not run by people who don't already. But it can make an interesting difference in ways we have yet to understand. What do you think the reality of 'Esperanto' would mean?