Technology may not replace human translators, but it will help them work better
TALK into your phone in any of the big European languages and a Google app can now turn your words into a foreign language, either in text form or as an electronic voice. Skype, an internet-telephony service, said recently that it would offer much the same (in English and Spanish only). But claims that such technological marvels will spell the end of old-fashioned translation businesses are premature.
Jochen Hummel, a pioneer in translation memory, says that a real breakthrough would come from combining software, memory and content management in a single database. But making money may still be tricky. The American tech titan has not tried to commercialise Google Translate. A former executive says the firm experimented with content-management software but “decided to focus on easier stuff, like self-driving cars.”
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