On the face of it, there’s nothing really new about translation. It’s always been conveying a thought or idea from one language into another. The differences, however, have been in the medium of communication. For written translation, no matter if it is an ancient manuscript, a book from the 1960s, or a pdf or an e-mail, the process for translation has pretty much remained the same. For the spoken word though, translation is called interpretation. Interpretation has always required the use of an individual to actually translate speech. Essentially, this has meant that translating the written word has been available regardless of whatever medium technology has presented. On the other hand, interpretation or business interpretation, which requires greater speed, has been stymied by new technology.
Perhaps the best example of this can be seen on platforms like Skype. The boom of internet-based voice communication services over the last decade has been astounding. Skype alone currently connects 300 million users a month and members spend over 2 billion minutes a day talking to each other. From a business perspective, utilizing person-to-person verbal communication can provide a massive opportunity to sell and troubleshoot products, offer services and customer support, and, in a general sense, connect with customers and interested parties. However, the problem has always been the ability to do this accurately and quickly. In short, connecting in real-time to a global business environment is a blessing, but it can quickly turn into a curse if a business is unable to communicate with interested parties regardless of language barriers.
Over the last decade, Skype’s parent company, Microsoft, has been working on technology solutions that can alleviate language barriers right away. Essentially, the solution involves developing translation software capable of picking up all the linguistic building blocks of verbal communication (from the basic principles and pronunciations to complex and reflexive usage) that is synchronized with speech recognition software. Though this software has already been demonstrated in small, closed trials, the main question is, can it work within Skype?
Obviously, any sort of advancement on this front will serve to enhance global verbal communication. This will be good news for Skype users. But good for one doesn’t mean good for all. As we all know, all translatable communication isn’t equal. There’s a big difference between explaining why “The Empire Strikes Back” is the best Star Wars movie in Arabic and discussing the intricacies of a specialized product order in Mandarin. Business interpretation often requires specifics and details that are not often found in basic communication. This makes understanding, and, therefore, interpreting, more difficult. Additionally, as we have all encountered when attempting to translate a document using a computer-based translator, sometimes words are misunderstood or are mistranslated. This can completely change the idea attempting to be conveyed. Considering that business requires specifics and computer-based translation can be flawed, it appears that this type of software that Skype is building may not currently be the best bet for business-savvy users.
Combining professional language skills and technical knowledge in specific business areas is the hallmark of our company.
If you would like to discuss your upcoming business interpretation projects, inquire about prices, delivery times and our additional business translation services like multiple translator in-house teams:
Call our Atlanta office today at +1 404-523-5560 or send us an email: quoteusa(at)evs-translations.com.
Call our Nottingham office today at +44-115-9 64 42 88 or send us an email: quoteuk(at)evs-translations.com.