Tag Archives: Spanish translator

New Service Combines Live Translators and Technology

While many people agree that having a live translator on hand is preferable over using a computerized translation service, it’s not easy or cheap to drag a professional translator along every time you go abroad. Services such as Google translate and pocket translators work when you need a single word translated, but they’re far from perfect when you’re trying to have a professional communication in a different language. With this in mind, a new company called Babelverse took the initiative to combine the value of live translation with the convenience of technology to create a mobile app for serious translation needs.

Translators are On Call 24/7

When you use the Babelverse app, you are tapping into a network of translators from around the world. In its development, the creators organized the app to separate these translators by their language abilities and their availability. So, if you need a Spanish translator at 11:00pm on a Sunday, the app will find one for you and connect you so that you can talk over the phone. In the promotional video for the app, a German man is depicted walking into a pharmacy. Since the pharmacist only speaks English, he uses Babelverse to communicate with the pharmacist flawlessly. Obviously, this situation could be a dangerous one without accurate translation.

Babelverse has Already Been Put to the Ultimate Test

Helping people in their daily lives is certainly a major goal of Babelverse, but it has already been used to help people in a national emergency. During the tsunami in Japan, Babelverse assembled a network of volunteer translators. These translators helped emergency crews, medical teams and even reporters understand what the victims and local news crews were saying. No other translator services could have assembled so quickly to help. Clearly, the ability for the service to be used in such dire times of need speaks to its accuracy and usability.

There are benefits and drawbacks to live translation and computerized translation. While live translation is certainly more accurate and emotional than computerized translation, computerized translation services are easier to access in a hurry. Babelverse has combined the best of both worlds with their new translation service. Since you don’t know which translator you’re being connected to, quality control might be an issue. If your business needs a translator, hiring a professional service might be better, but Babelverse is ideal for travelers in a pinch.

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.