In the not so distant past, the image of a translator or interpreter lugging an overstuffed suitcase from location to location was almost commonplace. The suitcase would be full of the tools of their trade – volumes and volumes of general or specialized multilingual dictionaries and reference books.
Gradually, with the passage of time and because of the profound, radical changes brought about by technological evolution and the rise of the internet, the suitcase has become obsolete; all dictionaries are now available in electronic format, either free of charge or for the price of a subscription and many of a translator or interpreter’s dictionary lookups have now been replaced by search engine searches.
This is just one of the many changes that modern technology and digital evolution have brought about in the professions linked to multilingual services. This article aims to present a summary of the changes in question.
In the not so distant past, the image of a translator or interpreter lugging an overstuffed suitcase from location to location was almost commonplace.
- In the field of translation, a translator’s in-depth research of the terminology and various specialized subjects examined by each text, has changed radically. In the past, a translator would use all sorts of orthodox and unorthodox ways of decoding the texts to be translated: immersion in different encyclopaedic volumes, time-consuming visits to libraries, telephone calls to embassies, appeals to friends and acquaintances familiar with the subject in question – these were just a few of the methods employed. Today, all of this has been replaced by a few clicks of the mouse in a search engine, specialized databases (by subscription or not), electronic encyclopaedias and journals, or various scientific fora available on-line or in social media, etc.
- Another major change that has occurred in the field of translation, is the extensive range of translation memories that all professional translators work with nowadays. These are actually databases that are enriched and ‘fed’ with translations and other texts, which then recognize identical or similar words, phrases or even whole paragraphs, and present them to the translator for use in the target language. They are used mainly for technical and scientific translations (technical, legal, financial, pharmaceutical, medical texts etc.), such as articles of association, pharmaceutical patents, etc., where terms or sentences are often fully or partially repeated.
- The existence of the translation memories mentioned above, gives rise to further changes, including a reduction in translation delivery times, and reduced charges for translation services due to discounts for the repeated terms or phrases contained in each text.
- The development of technology has not only brought change, but also new services. Website translation, for example, is a very common service nowadays, with globalization bringing countries and peoples ever closer together, and having a significant impact on all human activities: tourism, commerce, industry, etc.
- As for interpreting, the greatest change has appeared in the last decade, but really came into its own during the pandemic. Remote Simultaneous Interpreting (RSI) is a technology that allows interpreters to use the Zoom platform or other professional remote interpreting platforms (such as Olyusei, for which Podium is the exclusive partner in Greece) and work remotely, without necessarily being physically present at the conference or the event venue.
At Podium, adapting to new and complex realities is part of our DNA.
At Podium, adapting to new and complex realities is part of our DNA. We are constantly attentive of all the developments and new needs arising in the field of multilingual communication, and we are equipped with all modern tools of the trade, so as to offer the same, excellent translation and interpreting services at all times.