Machine interpreting may sound like something out of a science fiction movie, where people and aliens travel across the galaxy and communicate through a zany device or droid. Could the world be catching up to the genius technology we only thought was possible in movies? Also, are human translators going unemployed? Well, for the time being, human translators are safe. But the technology is improving.
Machine translation converts a written text, and machine interpreting converts spoken words into foreign languages. The information in this article is also discussed in “What is Machine Interpreting?” by Kaytie of Accredited Language Services. Machine interpretation is made possible through three steps.
First, the device uses voice recognition to hear and interpret the sound into words. Second, the words are put through a machine that translates the words into a different language. Then the translated words are converted from the text into an automated voice for the target audience.
The process seems simple, but technicians are having difficulty keeping the machines from glitching. So we aren’t quite as close to futuristic fictional translation as you might’ve thought. Since automated interpretation is not fully developed it is far from being an acceptable use for translation, especially in business. Therefore, human translators are not out of a job yet and will not be for quite some time. We will all have to see what the future holds.
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Kaytie. (2021). ‘What is Machine Interpreting?’ Accredited Language Services. September 2016. Available at https://www.accreditedlanguage.com/interpreting/what-is-machine-interpreting/ accessed: February 24th, 2021.