The subconscious is indeed a wonderful thing. My shabbes nap produced a very clear image of a voice translation machine. Now someone just has to build it.
Basically, it was about the size and shape of an Etch-a-sketch. The dials at the bottom and the push buttons on the left allowed you to choose input and output languages, using the menu on the right of the screen. Then you spoke into the built-in microphone at the bottom, and the text appeared on the left-hand side of the screen.
In my dream, my real-life Chinese-speaking colleague and I were arguing over the best way to produce Cantonese to Yiddish translation.