This is a guest post by Alexander Zeller
Online translation tools commenced with the easily accessible Google Translate, which has now been out on the internet for 10 years, but it seems it hasn’t had that much of an impact on the demand for human translators. Most people believed that once translation tools were developed that would be an end to human translators. This doesn’t mean that machine translation is losing its momentum; it’s more the case that the two methods of translating now co-exist together.
However, the general trend in global business is for more and more businesses opening up their products to many more countries. Experience has indicated that it is of little use marketing a product to, for example, the Russian market unless at least some of the product information is written in Russian.
Some of the translation tools which are computer based help translators complete their translation tasks. A few of these are what are called ‘terminology management systems’ where useful terms are stored online in multiple languages so that the translator is only a click away when searching for the desired list of terms. These terminology banks allow translation divisions of an international organisation when allocating translation jobs to human translators that they can be assured that there is a standardisation of terms being used by a group of translators.
March of the Translation Apps
It is expected that throughout this year more apps will be released which will aid faster translations. There is a device that is currently being trialled and that is a translating earpiece. It allows people who don’t speak the same language to understand one another. This could theoretical reduce language barriers considerably.
A device developed and marketed by New York City company Waverly Labs is called ‘Pilot’ and is fitted into the ear. It has an in-built AP which is able to switch between languages. This language translation product is going to be introduced first of all in the main European languages: French, English, Spanish and Italian. The idea later is to load the device with other languages that are widespread, such as Arabic, Hindi, Slavic, Semitic and many African languages.
Pilot May Take Place of Google Translate
Apple fans love iPhone accessories so the Pilot is expected to be a winner as it has many smart language features. It works by using speech recognition so the person using one can hear and understand what another person is saying because the conversation gets translated into the user’s native language. Being what is called a wearable device it brings together this much loved feature with machine translation. It is quite possible that Apple fans will soon be deleting their Google Translate apps in favour of the Pilot iPhone app instead.
Apple is promoting the Pilot app well before the launch by giving away a free app every week. The actual launch date has yet to be decided. So far there has been unprecedented support for the product and crowd-funding is being sought to help in producing it and releasing it out on to the market.
Alexander Zeller is a project manager and translator working with The Migration Translators in Australia, providing legal, medical, business, marketing, technical and website translation services in over 130 Languages.