Talking Trade with Wendy Pease, Rapport International

In the latest episode of “Talking Trade,” Rapport International owner Wendy Pease shares insights on the translation and interpretation industry. 

The business offers written translation, spoken interpretations and other communications services for businesses, helping its customers to reach international markets. Pease discusses how technologies such as Google Translate have influenced this work. 

“When that first came out, we said ‘Oh, is Google Translate going to put us out of business?’ And it hasn’t,” she said. “It’s actually raised the demand for good translation, because now people understand that you can communicate across languages, and that there’s a way to do it appropriately.” 

Pease also comments on the impacts of AI on this field, noting it functions better than Google Translate when applied to certain topics. But she added “you don’t know which one’s going to be better, so you can’t consistently use one” of these services over the other. 

“What I’ve heard [from] the experts, the analysts that are really deep-diving into the different technologies that are out there, is that we still need humans involved,” she said. “And it’s getting harder and harder to judge the quality, because there are some companies that will say ‘human-involved’ translation.” 

That means the service is using machine learning for translation, and then having a person review it. But if those reviewers lack subject matter expertise, mistakes could “slide by,” Pease said.