I believe it is, otherwise how are we going to be able to communicate effectively with clients, customers or patients particularly when the price of asking a translator to attend and the time it takes can be both time and cost prohibitive, but also humane. Put yourself in the shoes of the member of staff talking to the person from overseas access when communication is difficult, everyone becomes stressed but using a tried and trusted resource like EMASUK and ClaireTalk that you can use at the touch of a button, rather than waiting or incurring expense will be the natural answer. It will reduce the stress of the communication difficulty for both the member of staff and the customer immediately, add this to the increased worrying stories that both translators and interpreters can be misinterpreting what the client is saying this can be the only safe way to get a real feel for the person and their needs. Many councils, police, businesses and NHS services as well as Education establishments around the world are now turning to these simple resources for increase their communication ability yet keep service levels the same or better with real cost savings.
See below the technological advancements in the world to date. I wonder what it will look like in one years time, much different I would suggest as advances march onwards. Those of you already using EMASUK and Clairetalk are the forerunners and the moulders of tomorrows translation services. EMASUK and Clairetalk offer a service using machine translation that differs because it has been specifically created for the Education and Health market. In Education it uses a revolutionary contextual engine that makes linguistic changes that would normally be made by a translator. It has a conversational recorder via a PDF printer this means that for the first time a school can have a record of the conversation in the home language of the speaker and English that can be kept as a permanent record. It can be used legally due to the time and date stamping involved when creating. In the health service ClaireTalk uses a bespoke phrasebook that allows medical professionals to have their most common questions, saying or phrases at their fingertips in fractions of a second. It also includes a YES/NO function that is graphically portrayed to allow those that have even the most basic educational background to respond with yes and no answers meaning that they can receive emergency treatment whilst perhaps a translator is being sought or the hospital wishes to explore the machine translation for their illness. The concepts behind these are equally at home in the Police, courts and business sectors using the translator can often mean that they put their own linguistical bend on wording for advertisements, flyers etc. Using Text tutor the company is directly in charge of the wording of their own literature and can tailor it to their audiences. If you want to know more contact us at www.emasuk.com.
As a consequence multilingualism is fast becoming a necessity, and hopefully we’ll one day be able to speak to anyone, in any country, in any language, all in real-time.
The tech world is experiencing a surge in translation innovation. The sector has been growing in relevance as persistent advancements in communication technology continue to shrink our world. Major tech powers like Google and Microsoft have increased their R&D spend on new translator technology, culminating in an eye catching demo of an instant English-Chinese translator at a recent Microsoft event.
The increased focus on translation is predicated by the prospective earnings that can be reaped from the provision of machine-based solutions. Research firm Common Sense Advisory has estimated that the global market of outsourced language services and technology will earn £21.1 billion in 2012. Furthermore, the proliferation of smartphones has expanded the consumer base to an even greater extent, as demonstrated by the Google Translate app’s recorded 50 million plus installs.
This is by far the most prolific mobile translation application, allowing for text based translation in 65 languages and also providing real-time speech translation for 17 languages (including English, Arabic, French and Dutch).
Its “conversation mode” was originally released in ALPHA last year and currently remains an Android specific feature. The speech to speech function is operated via a single handset, where the user is required to first pick both native and foreign languages then after tapping the microphone icon, speak the phrase to be translated. The application then speaks back the translated speech and allows the foreign speaker to reply in their own language by doing the same.
This Canadian company provides a social networking solution to real time translation by utilising plugins for most instant chat and messaging platforms such as Windows Live, Google Talk and Facebook Chat. The user is only required to select the output language and then begin typing in the chat box as they normally would. This feature is also available in a free mobile app for both Android and iOS called Ortsbo 2GO.
Ortsbo can translate 53 global languages – including English, Chinese and Arabic. The company also provides a Twitter service that allows its users to place a widget that can pull tweets from a specific account or hash tag and provide instant translation.
MyLanguage’s Vocre application performs live translated video calling for iOS devices in 31 languages. The user dials out from within the app and then is required to hit a record button before they speak into the enabled mobile device and watch as their words are converted to text. After making sure that the text entry is correct the user must then click reply and the text is repeated in the chosen foreign language by a synthesised voice.
Much like Ortsbo and Google Translates mobile offerings the app gives face to face functionality.
Hanashite Hon’yaku (automatic voice translation service)
Hanashite Hon’yaku is exclusive to Japan and more specifically subscribers to the country’s largest network provider, NTT Docomo. Much like Google Translate the service facilitates the use of face to face translation through a single enabled mobile, what sets it apart however, is its ability to translate actual phone conversations in real-time.
It provides spoken translation after a short pause as well as providing a text transcript. The user is required to dial out via a provided smartphone application, which allows for calls to be placed to overseas, mobile or landline. The phone translations are being limited to Japanese, Korean, Chinese and English, furthermore, by utilising cloud computing the accuracy of the translations are not limited by a phones specification.
This Israeli start-up has foregone the app route in favour of a dial up service that provides live call translations on any phone. The service currently operates in 100 countries and can translate 15 languages and dialects.
This is the only service I’ve listed that requires no Internet connection or software install, the user must first dial an access number (found on the Lexifone site) prior to dialing the call recipient. Much like the previously listed speech to speech services, translation comes after a momentary pause as a tone signifies when to begin talking. The service allows the listener to review the translation in their own language before sending, thus ensuring the message is accurate.
The company has deals in place with telecommunication titans BT Group and Telefonica, providing Lexifone with Euro-wide coverage.
That is where the future of this technology lies and software giant Microsoft believes the use of the speaker’s actual voice in translation is central to this. At the aforementioned event held in China last month the computing behemoth demoed its instant English to Mandarin translator with the spoken translated output replicating the speaker’s voice and cadence.
French firm Alcatel – Lucent also hopes to launch a voice replicator called MyVoice as a complement to its landline based translator WeTalk, which is a more immediate sign of this technologies growth trajectory.
Thanks to breakthroughs in telecommunications, the world is becoming a smaller place each and every day. As a consequence multilingualism is fast becoming a necessity, and hopefully we’ll one day be able to speak to anyone, in any country, in any language, all in real-time.