Tag Archives: professional translator

A Pair of Glasses that Shows You Subtitles

When traveling abroad or meeting people from foreign countries, modern technology has made it easier than ever to communicate without language barriers. Instead of learning the language before we visit a country, we can simply bring our smartphone along and translate the conversation as we are engaged in it with one of the many translator services provided on the web or as an app. In fact, real-time translation might be even easier now with the invention of a new form of revolutionary translation technology. Instead of looking down at our phones to see the translation, a set of subtitles will appear before our eyes.


New Invention Combines Existing Technology

The invention, called the Vuvix 1200 Star glasses, is not entirely novel. Essentially, the glasses combine the powers of two small computers, a Jawbone Bluetooth microphone, a TV, an iPhone, an iPad, a headset microphone and a transformer. Clearly, the design is not exactly portable yet. However, it certainly paves the way for similar technology in translation services that you can someday travel with. Right now, the device is only useful for one-on-one conversation. As technology improves and all of the devices get smaller and more efficient, the glasses could be worn even at a major event and they could still translate the spoken words in real time.


Real-Time Subtitles Might Hinder Language Education

While the subtitle glasses will certainly bridge the gaps caused by language barriers both domestically and abroad, they might also affect people’s drive to learn new languages. If you were taking a long trip to Germany, for example, you’d probably focus and spend a lot of time learning German before your journey. Then you’d be able to fully immerse yourself in the culture upon your arrival, even if you did need to whip out your pocket German translator every now and then. These glasses might prevent people from feeling the need to educate themselves, as they are essentially the easy way out.

While the future of translation technology such as the Vuvix glasses might have a negative affect on whether or not people learn new languages for vacations abroad, they will certainly provide benefits to companies or individuals who deal with international business partners. Instead of learning every language or hiring a traveling professional translator for every overseas business meeting, international businessmen can simply wear these glasses to understand every aspect of the new business deal in real-time. Until that day comes though, a professional translator is obviously a more appropriate strategy.

Language Debate Sparked by Voting Ballots in WI

The United States is a melting pot of many different cultures and peoples. While English is the official language of the United States, nearly one in every five Americans speak another language at home. Whether or not these citizens speak English does not change the fact that they are still citizens, and they have the right to vote. This concept has brought up a dilemma in Wisconsin, where most ballots do not provide a translation for non-English speaking citizens. Some officials feel that non-English speaking citizens should be provided with translation services or additional ballots to ensure that they are given an equal right. Others feel that doing so slows the assimilation process. Both sides of the argument are valid and can be applied to the United States at large.

Some Cities Translate Ballots

Milwaukee voting centers do provide translated ballots and even hire bilingual poll workers to help accommodate those who do not speak English as their first language. Other towns, such as Appleton, actually have community members who volunteer to help non-English speakers navigate the polls so that their voice can be heard. When there is no support or translations available, many people who do not speak English bring along their younger family members to vote for them. While hiring a professional translator to work at every poll would certainly be expensive, many people believe that smaller cities should at least provide translated paper ballots.

Translation Services at the Polls Don’t Solve the Problem

While offering a translated ballot at the polls would help non-English speaking citizens in the moment, it doesn’t solve the larger problem of language barriers in the United States. Many officials feel that, since English is the official language of the U.S., the government should instead focus on providing education resources to help assimilate people into the culture. If they can’t get any help at the ballot, they might be pushed to take action and learn the language of the country in which they reside as opposed to relying on translator services.

The problem is not one that can be solved without further debate, but is certainly one that pertains to the entire U.S. Spanish-speaking people who make up a huge part of our country, so at what point should they stop using a Spanish translator and learn the English language? The question will likely be up for debate for many years to come.