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Journalist at MultiLingual Magazine | + posts

Jonathan Pyner is a poet, freelance writer, and translator. He has worked as an educator for nearly a decade in the US and Taiwan, and he recently completed a master’s of fine arts in creative writing.

Friday Roundup

Business News

An end-of-the-week recap of localization industry news you may have missed

Eurotranslate moves offices

Eurotranslate has moved to a new office space. The new address is still in Zemun, Belgrade, at Glavna 26.

Squadle adds Spanish translation to its digital food safety applications

Digital food safety company Squadle creates apps that enable multi-unit operators, convenience stores, and retailers to streamline food safety in the United States. It just added Spanish translation as part of a series of upgrade to its systems. Along with upgrades to dashboards, manager reporting software, a ZeroTouch food monitor, and a COVID-19 safety procedure checklist, the addition of Spanish-English translation should help restaurants deliver a safer dining experience.

AI translation market report gets global treatment

A report on the global AI translation market has been released by BisReports. Information on the report just came out in French, but the report is offered in English. The report analyzes big players such as SoundAI, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Alibaba, NetEase, Souhu, Tencent, and ByteDance.

InterpretCloud launches

InterpretCloud is a remote simultaneous interpreting solution that can connect with any meeting platform to support multilingual events, meetings and conferences anywhere — any size and in any language.

SDL launches SDL Trados Studio 2021 and SDL Trados Live

SDL (LSE: SDL) announced the launch of SDL Trados Studio 2021, a hybrid translation solution offering flexibility for busy translators and project managers. SDL Trados Studio 2021 comes with new features and functionality, including:

SDL Trados Live. Powered by SDL Language Cloud, this new translation productivity cloud works with SDL Trados Studio to bring users an online translation editor, coupled with a web-based project management and revision experience.

SDL Trados Live Mobile App. Available to download for free from the Google Play and the Apple App Store, the SDL Trados Live app gives users the added flexibility of being able to manage translation projects from anywhere.

Subscription-based licensing. Following in the footsteps of many other software packages, from Microsoft Office to Adobe, SDL is offering an annual subscription to SDL Trados Studio 2021 for both the Professional and Freelance editions.

Improved productivity. For users with a focus on desktop, the SDL Trados Studio 2021 desktop app includes a number of productivity-enhancing features. The translation memory (TM) engine has been enhanced to deliver better results, and quality assurance (QA) checks are also improved due to new intelligent TM technology.

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Automatic Translation Could Come to Twitter

Translation Technology

Twitter has announced that it will expand its translation feature by testing automatic translation with a small group of users in Brazil. The social media giant currently supports built-in translations that allow users to click or tap a tweet written in a foreign language.

For users who set their primary language to English on Twitter, any tweet using a non-English language will provide a translation button. As convenient as this method might appear, it also adds a step to the user experience, requiring manual action for the user to opt into the translation. In order to simplify that process, Twitter hopes to experiment with automatic translation so that all tweets will be automatically available to the user.

In a blog post, Twitter explains:

“To make it easier to understand the conversations you follow on Twitter, we’re experimenting with automatic translation for Tweets in other languages ​​that appear on your homepage. We know that it can sometimes take a long time to translate Tweet by Tweet into different languages ​​and stay on top of what is relevant to you.” (This text was translated from Portuguese by Google.)

The posts will provide an alert at the bottom to notify the user that the tweet has been translated and by whom. Although the company did not state whether it will partner with any machine translation providers, it does mention both Google and Microsoft as possible options. The company could also be weighing the possibility of combining the services to provide the most accurate translation available.

Among some of the issues of the new feature, the default translation could become a frustration for users. One obvious issue currently facing machine translation is the inaccuracy that occasions some translations. Furthermore, bilingual or multilingual users who have can only choose one language as their primary language might prefer a feature that allows them to read tweets in both languages or to continue in the opt-in structure.

Whether these issues will hold back the scaling of this new feature is not clear, but Twitter has not yet set any plans to expand the automatic translation any further than Brazil.

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Smart Masks in Japan Translate between 8 Languages

Technology

Adapting its translation software to meet the needs of a mid-pandemic world, Japanese startup Donut Robotics has created smart masks to aid in translation needs.

As the number of people wearing masks grows during the pandemic, Donut Robotics has developed new smart masks that go well beyond PPE, and fall short as well. Connecting to an app through Bluetooth, “C-Face” transcribes dictation, amplifies the wearer’s voice, and translates speech into eight different languages.

Donut Robotics first developed the translation software for a robot project called Cinnamon, which was designed as part of a Haneda Robotics Lab initiative to create robots that would provide tourists at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport with relevant information for their travels. One of four translation robot prototypes selected in 2016, Cinnamon began providing services at the airport in 2017.

When COVID hit, however, and airports shut down globally, Donut Robotics sought a way to adapt their translation technology and progress the technology while the tourism industry struggles.

Although smart masks mostly covers the face, their silicone and plastic design is not a proper substitute for PPE, and the company suggests wearing them over a standard cloth face mask. Embedded with a microphone that connects to the user’s smartphone, smart masks may contribute to social distancing norms while simultaneously serving as a walkie-talkie, scribe, and translator.

Haneda Robotics Lab originally stated as one of its consideration for choosing Cinnamon was how well the software performed in noisy environments. That quality could bode well for Donut Robotics’ transition to mobile.

Despite the company’s exciting developments this year, however, questions remain about the scalability and language capacity of the smart mask. Donut Robotics hopes to release its first wave of distribution in Japan, making 5,000-10,000 smart masks available by December of this year, but does not expect to expand overseas until mid-2021.

Furthermore, while the translation capabilities of the smart mask include some of the world’s most common languages like English, Spanish, and Chinese (presumably Mandarin), Donut Robotics will have to expand considerably before it can compete with the likes of Google Translate or Microsoft Translator.

Still, company CEO Taisuke Ono believes the “the technology is better than Google API, or other popular technologies” for Japanese language users, because most competitor apps focus primarily on translating to and from English.

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