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Aboriginal Language Preservation Programmes

The Australian government is looking into starting the Language Maintenance and Language Revitalisation Programme and an Aboriginal interpreting service to protect Aboriginal languages and promote them among younger generations in the Northern Territory.

In the region, 32% of the population is indigenous, and more than 100 Aboriginal languages and dialects are spoken. Many members of the population speak English as their third or fourth language.

The interpreter service has been developed to ensure that all of the inhabitants of the Northern Territory receive access to government programmes, services and information. Under the Language Maintenance and Language Revitalisation Programme each school in the region can determine themselves what priority language learning has for the school, in consultation with the local community. The Northern Territory is the only Australian region offering such a comprehensive indigenous language programme.

In addition, the Northern Territory Library has developed many programmes to document and preserve the indigenous languages.

By | June 25th, 2012|Blog|0 Comments

South Australian Training Programme for Deaf Teachers

Training and Further Education South Australia (TAFE SA) is now offering a certificate in Training and Assessment specifically developed for deaf students. There is a shortage of sign-language teachers in the region which is preventing deaf students from signing up for the classes they want to take. It is hoped that deaf students will become teachers themselves and alleviate some of the problem caused by the shortage.

TAFE facilitator Pip Cody said, “If someone wants to become an interpreter, they have to move to Melbourne because in South Australia no training pathways lead on to the diploma. Then they stay in Melbourne, and South Australia is left with a dire shortage. The issue is that deaf people can’t access courses they want to."

It is hoped that the new course will allow deaf people who are already capable of teaching Auslan to become qualified. In the past, they could not become qualified due to the barriers to learning.

By | June 22nd, 2012|Blog|0 Comments

AT&T’s Prototype Interpreter

We have recently blogged about Machine Translation vs. Human Translation. Well, it looks like AT&T are taking machine translation to the next level with their machine interpreter.

A device, which can only be described as similar to the universal translator in Star Trek, was demonstrated at AT&T’s recent Living the Networked Life innovation showcase in New York City. The event was put on by AT&T to display new technologies that one day may make life easier for all of us.

The device uses Watson speech recognition API, the AT&T translator and an app called Spectra. The prototype is available with seven languages: EnglishFrenchGermanItalianSpanishJapanese and Mandarin.

It is our guess that the device will have similar problems to those faced by traditional machine translators. It will also have to address issues encountered by speech recognition software users. It may not be perfect, but it will be interesting to see it in use when/if it is launched. It will likely be helpful in non-business critical interpreting situations where an exact word for word understanding is not 100% necessary.

If you have a business critical interpreting need, ask SanTranslate.

By | June 18th, 2012|Blog|0 Comments
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