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Posted on25 August 2012

Does technology continue to threaten translation?

We all know that translation and technology always create a subject for discussion. Unsure as to whether I’m just becoming my grandmother, or whether it’s becoming more and more apparent, the release of more and more smartphones brings in the possibility of more and more translation apps. It seems that technology is overtaking us, or is it ourselves overtaking ourselves?

This article caught our eye, being the smartphone geeks that we are. We particularly love the idea of augmented reality (another technological idea that doesn’t seem to stop developing). We first saw this on a sunglasses website through a desktop computer but now it seems to be sneaking into our pockets!

Point 4 highlights all of the amazing applications available to help tourists find their way around. WordLens is something that is just beyond us at Atlas – we’ll leave that one to the experts! It seems that GoogleTranslate seems to be dominating the market, but can we really rely on technology that much? From our experience, you certainly need to be a bit wary in case it all goes belly up.

On my recent trip to Spain I found an Englishman and a Spaniard (no Irishman, or Scotsman!) conversing through a smartphone using SpeechTrans. Although this is a great idea, is it not incredibly impersonal?! I certainly would prefer to either converse naturally with obstacles or have another person with me.

This article concludes by blaming problems caused by network overcrowding as a reason for a possible lack of popularity, but another issue would certainly be roaming charges! Don’t these telephone companies get enough out of us, as it is? Whatever stance we take on this one, we just can’t help but jump to the other side of the fence… I guess we’ll continue to debate this one for another century or two, until there’s another hi-tech revolution!

Don’t forget that Atlas provide interpreting services in all languages so you don’t have to depend on your smartphone! Call 01727 812725 or email team@atlas-translations.co.uk for a free no-obligation quote.

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