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Cheap Translations, But Not Replacement For Humans

Nov 5, 2014 9:29:00 PM / by Katharine Allen & Barry S. Olsen

From NPR...

Article Excerpt: “An Israeli startup says it has come up with a way to overcome language barriers when conducting international business: an automated service that provides quick translations between English and seven other languages with nothing more than a telephone.

InterpretAmerica’s Take:  This AP wire story published on June 12, 2013, has been popping up all over the globe on news websites from Washington, D.C., to Wellington. One thing is for sure, the mainstream media and the general public are becoming more aware of interpreting and the need for it. With that awareness, comes a desire for a simple cost-effective way to bridge the language gap. Lexifone’s machine interpretation solution is, as the article points out, “…still far from delivering the quick and seamless translations it advertises. Using the service proved frustrating, both in the quality of translations and the length of time it took to complete phone calls.”

We find it interesting that the Associated Press chose to focus on a technology-only solution. It is a reflection of the pervading misconception that technology can do everything. But when it comes to human communication, clearly it can’t.  

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