NEC and Sumitomo Develop App for Multilingual Workplaces


2021-04-01 22:25 multilingual


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Sumitomo Mitsui Construction and the Japanese IT and electronics company NEC have partnered up to create a translation app that should allow for smoother and more efficient communication within multilingual workspaces. Currently the app, called DokoMinaPhone, only allows for translation between Japanese and English. However, there are plans to add additional languages to its repertoire in the coming months. The app was originally created for use on construction sites in Japan, which, due to an increasingly globalized environment, are employing a growing number of international workers, according to a blog post from NEC published on March 30. The app is equipped with a neural machine translation (NMT) engine that was developed at Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT). The NICT conducts research on translation technology, with a special emphasis on developing technology that can provide more natural and accurate translations between Japanese and other languages. Users can send voice messages to other workers on the job, which are then translated using the NICT’s NMT engine (users receive both the original voice message and a translated voice message produced using speech synthesis that emulates the human voice). Text transcriptions are also sent alongside the voice messages. The app is particularly notable for its broadcast function which allows a given user to send out announcements to the entire group of workers — each member of the workplace will receive the message in their preferred language, along with the original message and a reverse translation, which allows users to verify the accuracy of the translation they received. As the app gains traction in the construction industry, NEC plans to expand its use in other industries as well. The company is also working to implement hands-free operation (taking into account worker safety on construction sites), as well as improving the app’s dictionary of technical terminology. In the coming months, NEC will collect feedback from workers who have used the app in order to continue improving the app’s quality and ensuring that translations are as accurate as can be.
三井住友建筑公司与日本IT和电子公司NEC合作,开发了一款翻译应用程序,可以让多语言工作环境中的沟通更顺畅,更高效。目前,这款名为DokoMinaPhone的应用程序只允许日语和英语之间的翻译。不过,有计划在今后几个月为《汇辑》增加更多语文。 据日本电气3月30号发表的一篇博客文章称,该应用程序最初是为日本建筑工地开发的,由于日益全球化的环境,日本建筑工地雇佣了越来越多的国际工人。这款应用配备了神经机器翻译(NMT)引擎,该引擎由日本国家信息通信技术研究所(NICT)开发。该中心开展翻译技术研究,重点是开发能提供更自然,更准确的日语与其他语言之间翻译的技术。 用户可以向工作中的其他工人发送语音消息,然后使用NICT的NMT引擎进行翻译(用户接收原始语音消息和使用模拟人声的语音合成产生的翻译后的语音消息)。文本转录也与语音信息一起发送。这款应用程序特别引人注目的是它的广播功能,它允许特定用户向整个员工群体发送通知--工作场所的每个成员都将收到他们喜欢的语言的信息,以及原始信息和反向翻译,用户可以验证他们收到的翻译是否准确。 随着这款应用在建筑行业的发展,NEC计划在其他行业也扩大应用。该公司还在努力实现免提操作(考虑到建筑工地工人的安全),以及改进应用程序的技术术语词典。在接下来的几个月里,NEC将收集使用过该应用程序的员工的反馈,以继续改进应用程序的质量,并确保翻译尽可能准确。