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How technology is changing the international translations industry

Today, tourists are increasingly likely to rely on smartphone apps for international translations, rather than dog-eared phrasebooks. And professional translators are replacing their dictionaries with an array of sophisticated, computerised tools.

There’s no doubt technology is a big influence on the international translations industry. The internet has created a huge market for translations, with English-speaking users becoming a minority.

Almost every day, there seems to be a new development in language software. Companies such as Google are scrambling to come up with apps that can instantly (and accurately) translate speech.

Here, Lingo24’s Jack Waley-Cohen explains here why technology is crucial to the industry, and how it makes the process simpler, more accurate and more affordable.

Of course, the internet has dramatically changed the translator’s role. It’s moved from a paper-based profession to one almost entirely computer-based. And it doesn’t end there: tools such as translation memories, terminology management systems and other applications are all helping make the process more efficient and accurate.

For example, our Heart technology identifies documents with high volumes of repetitions, which are cheaper and quicker to translate. And it allows countless translators to work on the same project at once, dramatically cutting the turnaround time.

Of course, many people think of machine translation when they think of technology and languages. Despite improvements in programs such as Google Translate, we’re still a long way from replacing human translators!

But that’s not to say machine translation isn’t an useful tool in some circumstances, when the end results are edited by a professional linguist. Post-edited machine translation can be a fast, affordable option for large volumes of documents which aren’t critical to businesses, such as website comments or internal correspondence.

As always we’re interested in your views on how technology affects the world of international translations. And find out more here about how Lingo24 uses technology.

Hazel Mollison

Hazel Mollison edits and writes for the Lingo24 blog. After studying Italian and German at Cambridge University, she worked as a journalist for five years with regional and national newspapers. She enjoys writing about languages, translation, online marketing, and helping small businesses explore new opportunities.

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