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Will translation devices replace living interpreters in the near future?

asked 06 Nov '11, 21:46

Vero's gravatar image


This link to the keynote address to the 'InterpretAmerica' 2nd summit on interpreting looks at a lot of new technology in this field. Its conclusion is that it won't replace interpreters but that we'll see it develop alongside us. The advantage of the technology being its speed of access (no need to get a team of intrpreters together, who may also be on the other side of the world). The video is long but informative and entertaining.

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answered 08 Nov '11, 08:34

Linda's gravatar image


This video was the subject of Session 3 of the Interpreter Journal Chat on Twitter, which looked at Interpreters and Technology. The discussion points and transcripts of the chat can be found here:

(09 Nov '11, 16:27) Michelle

No. Languages are such complex systems that we are still quite far from being replaced by machines.

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answered 07 Nov '11, 17:01

Sirpa's gravatar image


Not anytime soon. Just take a look at translation... and Google Translate. The Arabic (and French) it produces cracks me up every time.... rather reminiscent of what's so lovingly referred to as Engrish/Chinglish ( The same applies to interpretation. Heck, we can barely grapple automated voice recognition on telephones---say Kathy and you get Hot Chocolate.

Human language is too intricate, too lucid, and too abstract a web of wonder to be honed by machines in the forseeable future. Language is organic, it evolves... changes, grows, withers... and is as individual as the human being behind it.

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answered 10 Apr '12, 16:39

jdecamillis's gravatar image


edited 11 Apr '12, 09:32

They are trying hard though... You'll want to check this experiment by the BBC

(11 Apr '12, 11:31) Marta Piera ...

2029 is supposed to be the year of the Turing Test, ie language being the brain's most complex function, computers mastching the human brain will be assessed by their language proficiency... so I suppose the answer to this question depends on the questioner's definition of "near" :-). I can but promise to be looking up with interest from the nether regions which by then I'll be a denizen of...

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answered 15 Nov '11, 17:31

msr's gravatar image


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question asked: 06 Nov '11, 21:46

question was seen: 7,158 times

last updated: 11 Apr '12, 11:31 is a community-driven website open to anyone with questions and/or answers about interpreting, i.e. spoken language translation

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