08 November 2011

Is that a translator in your machine?

It’s true there’s a wow factor in a point-and-shoot translator app like Word Lens or the statistical analysis approach of Google Translate. Many of [us] use these and other machine-based translators. But human translators are doing just fine too. At least that’s the word from ATA [American Translators Association] spokesman Kevin Hendzel. He told me the industry grew 15% in 2009 and 13% in 2010. Not so surprising when you think about it: American troops are still in Afghanistan. The US government’s 17 intelligence agencies are still listening in to people all over the world. American businesses are still expanding into new global markets.

PRI's The World has a refreshing podcast on translation, "Translators Past, Present and Future". Download/Listen to it here.

Patrick Cox talks to, among others, David Bellos, translator of Georges Perec's "user's manual" and author of the recent Is That a Fish in Your Ear?: Translation and the Meaning of Everything (this book's on top of my wish list!).

You can listen to the rest of the "The World in Words" podcasts here (recommended).

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