AI translator machines at universities: more than a digital dictionary

The unlimited possibilities that the Internet provides coupled with the fast and continuous development of smart devices are creating endless opportunities for today’s students to communicate, learn and share knowledge and ideas with each other. The world has become a place with fewer limitations for one to explore new places, cultures, and people. Even different languages are no longer an obstacle when it comes to communication: the invention of digital translators allows people to easily interact with each other. After decades of research in machine translation, the language service provision industry is experiencing major transformations with the introduction of neural network models for a more effective translation of texts. Electronic devices using these technologies are being more and more deployed in almost every aspect of our lives. In this line of thought, higher education is also one of the fields where translation devices can be extremely helpful for students and their overall experience at university. This article will be exploring the purpose of AI translator machines beyond their use as digital dictionaries in universities. Furthermore, we will also look at the individual benefits that such devices carry for students and how they facilitate their study experiences.

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Reaching a turning point in learning: introducing translation machines at universities

Machine translation is not a new phenomenon as it has been around for over 50 years. Yet, what started as a rule-based system that was only able to translate very vaguely about 250 words from Russian to English has now evolved into one that incorporates deep learning and neural networks to offer a more accurate and efficient experience to people. The form of Artificial Intelligence used in contemporary translators is called Neural Machine Translation (NMT). What it does is to recognize language patterns through an electronic, neural network and then translate them into a different language that has been selected initially. For instance, if one wants to translate a sentence from French to English, the system will then select the most appropriate pair of millions of suggestions of French and English language pairs. The end results that are obtained through this radically different technology are truly amazing as their accuracy is of a much higher level than the one of rule-based or phrase-based technologies. Dry and monotonous sentences are now replaced by meaningful ones that use a more precise vocabulary to communicate more accurately the idea behind a particular phrase, passage or entire text. Although such devices are in a constant development progress, the most recent innovations in machine translation are now offering much better quality in the translations of texts, with reliable terminology, an increasingly accurate speech recognition, and the possibility for machines to translate text even from images. Furthermore, nowadays translators are already working intensively with artificial intelligence, which is another prerequisite for a more comprehensible experience and the potential elimination of all language barriers.  

Translator machines find wide applications in many different industries and fields, one of which being education. With the globalization trend and thirst for knowledge among global learners around the world arises the issue of multi-lingual translation. Many universities are now beginning to incorporate translation devices in their study approach in order to increase the learning opportunities for international students and those with hearing disabilities that require assistive technology to get equal learning opportunities as the rest of the participants. AI translator machines have been in fact highly appreciated by many scholars as well since they seem to be very efficient and superior in teaching and learning with their bi-lingual or multilingual translating functions. So far, people have perceived machine translators mostly as digital dictionaries; however, with their latest developments these devices can find other valuable applications such as translating textbooks or even teaching entire courses in a different language.

Machine translators can be extremely useful for conveying deeper knowledge and understanding of ideas and thoughts on subjects and issues studied at university. It is well-known that so far machine translators have been vastly used for translating mainly written content from one language to another. Yet, nowadays their use expands beyond their use as digital dictionaries by focusing on real-time verbal communication. In this line of thought, one way that translation devices could be very practical at universities, for instance when used to translate talks led by foreign guest speakers or lecturers. With the help of this technology, students will be able to attend the seminars in real time and perceive the information in their home language. Thus not only the level of comprehension can be augmented but also the one of interactivity as contemporary devices work with two-way translations, hence students can also address their questions to the speakers or lecturers respectively in their own native languages. Such equipment can be also used in any other aspect of a university’s affairs, for example at the career or counseling offices on campus where international students could receive help with certain issues in their own languages. What is more, this technology could be also used as a tool for monitoring the results of students individually in terms of their level of knowledge of the local language.

The concept of translation devices being used at universities is not yet entirely developed. The abovementioned examples illustrate only a few cases where this technology can be effectively applied. With its constant development, newer devices comprising of real-time machine translators are coming to the surface every year and it is only a matter of time for this technology to become an essential part of our lives to the point where machine translators will be used as work tools that are able to perform multiple repetitive tasks.

 

Artificial Intelligence: a student’s new companion

Machine translators have gained popularity in recent years both inside and outside of the classrooms. With the growing number of students traveling around the world and searching for new learning opportunities, translator machines are becoming their ideal travel companions, especially to those who are having a hard time learning new languages and are facing longer stays in a foreign country. Either for text or speech translations, machine translators are found to be very effective when it comes to translating from one language to another. This is why many students on a global scale are incorporating translation devices not only in their studies but also in their personal lives.

Overcoming cultural shock with modern translation devices

With the growing internationalization, many students have the opportunity to choose their own study paths and spend a part of their entire higher education in a different country. As exciting as such experience could be, many international students are facing a cultural shock once they establish themselves in the new location. One of the common factors is the language barrier that one needs to overcome in order to adapt to the new environment and lead a normal life outside of the university. As already discussed, translation devices have a great potential of helping lecturers to teach and for participants to learn more easily while on campus.

Although studying is indeed a large part of one’s student experience, one’s social life is equally important. Therefore many foreign students can use these devices to better cope with their everyday life activities that involve communicating with locals. In addition, as we mentioned in the previous chapter, translation devices can be also used by the counselling offices that each higher education institution has. The majority of universities are encouraging their students to always seek help if they feel overwhelmed or depressed by the sudden change in their life and the new environment. Yet, most international students might not feel comfortable sharing their emotional problems in a foreign language, especially if they do not have a good command of it. Therefore one could benefit from their translation device and interact with the university’s psychologist through it.

 

Translation on the go: pocket translators for everyday activities

Carrying around a pocket translator can come in very handy when international students are shopping for food, for example, since in some places locals are unlikely to have a very good command of English or any other language than their own. In addition, at times, there might be emergency situations when one will need to visit a doctor. In the latter scenario, a translator machine can be used to translate the symptoms of the students quite accurately due to the modern engines that can gather data from thousands of sources where medical data and terminology is used. Some translation devices are also very useful for learning new languages aside from solely translating conversations between people. With modern features like photo translation, students could pick up new words or phrases while exploring the city and using their devices to read signs, food labels when grocery shopping, restaurant menus, instructions and more.

 

Improving the study opportunities for the hearing impaired through AI

Translation devices are also playing a key role in the education of students who are either completely deaf or have problems hearing. Integrating such people into the studying process is extremely important for the diversity among students and for the equal engagement of students with disabilities in lectures and seminars. An example of technology that can assist people with hearing disabilities is the multilingual machine translator provided by Microsoft. The services enable text and speech translation through cloud services in 69 different languages. This technology has been tested and used by the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York where students with hearing disabilities are taking courses side by side with their fellow students who are hearing. The way the technology works, in this case, is through an AI-powered system that uses automatic speech recognition to convert spoken language to text in real time. The latter is being displayed on a screen behind the professors teaching the particular seminar. The high-quality translations enable students with special needs to recognize the displayed text and receive the information at the same time as their hearing peers. What is more, this approach does not only keep them engaged with the lecture but also allows them to improve their knowledge and skills, such as spelling scientific terms correctly. Machine translators are also extremely helpful outside of the auditoriums as they help students with hearing problems communicate with their friends and share ideas. Despite that most deaf people learn how to read other people’s lips, sometimes they might speak too fast, which in turn interrupts the comprehending process. This is where a translation device comes in by assisting people with hearing disabilities to understand their interlocutors.

 

Selecting a translator: a hassle-free experience with more than 50 languages in your pocket

If you are wondering what translation device will best suit your needs, look no further because translation.biz has it covered! Whether one wants to use a translation device to learn better at university, communicate ideas easily in business meetings or simply as a travel companion while exploring new destinations, our translation devices are the perfect solution for any scenario. At translation.biz we value our customers’ satisfaction, which is why we are offering only high-quality products with a series of interactive features at affordable prices. Our assortment includes intelligent translator machines equipped with the latest AI technology to ensure that a two-way language translation could be carried out in nearly 180 countries around the globe. The translation devices that we are currently offering on translations.biz have each a different and exquisite design for every taste and purpose.

Starting off with the simplest devices, such as the smart language translator and the translator pen, which are intended for verbal translations of more than forty languages. Both devices translate instantly in real time only with one simple click. What is more their lightweight design makes them extremely compact and portable, which in turn allows them to be carried freely during travels, at university or even while shopping. Both devices are very convenient to use in almost any environment as they can be connected to a WiFi or a mobile hotspot. In addition, the translator pen has an independent operation feature that allows the device to work with or without an app. We recommend these two translator machines to anyone who wants to freely communicate with other people or learn new languages since each device ensures a high accuracy translation in multiple different languages such as Chinese, Korean, Thai, Arabic, Russian, and more.

In addition, at translation.biz you can also find translation devices for more professional purposes perfect for business meetings, conferences, or even if one needs to explain their symptoms to a doctor while in a foreign country. Apart from their visual appearance, what makes these devices different from the previous ones is their larger language support, their ability to translate texts from images, and offline connection. The latter feature can be especially useful for people who find themselves in a location without Internet access or signal and still need to use their device for an accurate translation. Furthermore, the dynamic and large touch panels on each device allow the user to smoothly navigate through the different options of the translation device and ensure a better visibility of any written text. Another highlight that all of these products share is their large battery capacity that ensures longer working and standby hours for an uninterruptable experience.

A common feature that all of the devices advertised on translation.biz share is their high-fidelity loudspeaker. With this technology users can benefit from a clear pronunciation and maximized audio performance. Another similarity of most of the devices that we offer is their noise-cancelling feature. This intelligent technology allows the devices to reduce all interference in terms of side and background noises from the surrounding environment while the device is in use. Thus consumers can benefit from accurate translation even if they wish to use the translator machines in a crowded place or a busy street. Some of the devices are also equipped with an AI assistant that supports various different functions such as weather or stock information queries, translation mode switching, music preferences, calculators, and many more.

All of the devices offered on our website can be used in almost any situation where overcoming language barriers is essential for the clear communication between people.

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