With this letter, I explain clearly and directly, no-holds-barred, what managers and event organizers need to know about Translate Your World International software (“Tywi”, pronounced “tie-wee”). I myself speak 10 languages and have worked for 20 years in 17 countries, so the information that I share will be from the perspective of the audience you are addressing.
There are two different types of audiences for Tywi:
1) Those who do not speak your language, and
2) Those who speak your language but need support for full comprehension
#1 Audiences that do not speak your language
Automatic interpretation: With Tywi, people who do not speak your language will be astonished when suddenly they are able to comprehend your words. Because Tywi is the first major real-time voice translation system, there will be an awe, a surprise, when they see subtitles of your speech or hear your presentation LIVE automatically translated into their language. The strength of Tywi is that it provides communication where there was no communication in the past. The automated translation will never be perfect, but there is communication.
Human interpretation: Although automatic voice translation is what people think of first, Tywi also offers software for streaming (human) simultaneous interpretation that can be 100% perfect. The audience can hear the voice of the interpreter or the interpreter’s voice can create subtitles. Subtitles from an interpreter’s voice will be a bit less perfect than the voice, varying with the interpreter’s pronunciation. Use your interpreters or ours, as you prefer.
#2 Audiences that speak your language but need support
This category includes both persons of other native languages as well as the hearing-impaired. I myself have attended hundreds of meetings held in a language that was non-native for me, so I can personally vouch for the fact that understanding spoken words is infinitely more difficult than reading text. Languages have 5 to 13 spoken accents. Think of the difference in sound between American, British, Australian, Irish, Scottish, and Indian English. Moreover, when speakers become excited, speak too fast, or use metaphors and imagery in their speech, these will make comprehension difficult for non-native speakers. Most executives would be surprised how much guessing is occurring behind the impassive, listening faces that always answer “Yes” when asked if they everything is clear.
And, let’s face it, what employee is going to interrupt his/her boss to say, “Excuse me, I did not understand what you said, can speak more simply with less complex phrases and slang?” Failure to understand what a superior says is the kiss of death in the corporate world, so almost no one will admit to it, and providing automatic subtitles when you speak can create a major improvement in comprehension without generating fear or embarrassment.
Most importantly, Tywi enables the deaf to understand everything - for the first time.
Subtitles versus TTS Computer Voice
Up to 85% of people who are non-native speakers of your language may well use the subtitles as support rather than the TTS option. There are several reasons for this. Around 50% will actually want subtitles in the original speaking language, because it is the audio that gives trouble not the words. The other 50% will read subtitles in their native language. Tywi also has a "bilingual" setting to show both languages at the same time. Subtitles allow the listener to hear the passion, honesty, and tone of your delivery, where TTS voice would overpower your speech. Additionally, TTS is processed from the translated subtitles, so there is naturally an additional few seconds of delay, and time may be of the essence.
Tywi offers training on using all the features of Tywi. Also training for audio-visual teams, decision-makers, speakers, interpreters, and technology related to Tywi (speech recognition, automatic translation, text-to-speech). Of special interest may be Tywi’s training for speaking to international audiences. This can be extremely helpful not only with the Tywi software, but also with any type of international business communication.
Managing accuracy and quality
Tywi can offer excellent quality, up to 96% accuracy with automated interpretation and 100% with human interpretation.
There are 2 types of interpretation: simultaneous and consecutive. "Simultaneous" interpretation is the type associated with the United Nations, full-speed and only 2 or 3 seconds behind the speaker. In simultaneous there are 2 levels: qualified conference interpreters and non-certified who are less qualified. "Consecutive" interpretation is the sentence-by-sentence type that can be provided by an employee, or click to call a Tywi consecutive interpreter in less than 60 seconds.
Automatic translation quality
To understand how to control quality, first understand that Tywi is not like a telephone. With a telephone, you touch a few buttons and anyone can talk and be understood perfectly if they both speak the same language even if they mumble or chew gum when they talk. Tywi is more like a video game. In a video game both the technology and the player are equally important. How well the player obeys the rules will affect the outcome. If you follow our tips, you will probably add a new language dimension to your business meetings, webinars, and employee communications.
Accuracy is important in business, and Tywi provides ways for the technology to improve and learn so that results become better and better. For example, the better Tywi understands what you say in the original language, the higher the accuracy of translation. So, you will have a choice of ways to “be understood”. We explain which choices are the easiest to use versus which render the most professional results.
For automatic translation, the good news is that the entire world is moving rapidly in the direction of valuing “communication” over “perfection” across-languages. For years, people have been reading your website in dozens of languages using the Google Chrome website translation program. And when you receive an email in another language, where do you go first? Google translate. Is the result perfect? Absolutely not. But at least you understand what the email is about. Tywi offers sophisticated options including a choice of automatic translation software and ways to improve the results so that your translation becomes better and better as time goes by. Remembering the video game concept, these improvements will not drop from the sky, rather need to be added, for which Tywi provides an online interface.
Tips for best results
a) Speak clearly: If the speaker talks in an uncontrolled manner, extremely long or fast sentences, with slang and non-dictionary expressions, this will discombobble automatic translation. So, shorten your sentences and speak more clearly and simply.
b) Translation software: Take a little time to test the multiple choices of automatic translation software offered by Tywi. Test in each language and with similar sentences and terms you would expect to speak. Some automatic translation software have dictionaries for technology, medicine, tourism, etc.
c) Equipment used: How effective Tywi’s speech recognition may be is often related to the equipment used. Best results come when used with headsets with microphones and from cellphone combos of earbuds and in-cable microphone. On the other hand, speaking into a built-in laptop microphone may create 10% to 20% more errors in speech recognition. It may even try to process not only your voice but any voice that the built-in mic hears coming out of your computer speakers. Tablets and smartphones generally have better built-in microphones, just watch the tendency for external audio to feed back in.
d) Personal dictionaries: If basic words from your company or profession are not entered into the dictionaries, there will necessarily be errors in translation. There are 2 types of dictionaries: (1) Translation Dictionary and (2) Speech Dictionary. The Translation Dictionary is where you handle ambiguous words such as “coat” that can be either a jacket or a layer (like paint). The Speech Dictionary is used to add words that are not usual in your language. For example, the expression “Tywi” is not a normal word. If it is not added to the speech dictionary, the software will probably understand “tie we”, and the automated translation will be nonsensical. Or if I speak a foreign name, such as “Musafaru Cristanopulo”, the software will type nonsense.
Feedback from human professional simultaneous interpretation is always excellent if the interpreter is qualified. The Tywi software emits high quality audio, even though it comes through the web, and that audio can be heard via channel earphones on site or anywhere on any device via the Web.
For the automatic interpretation, feedback from those who do not speak your language or speak only somewhat will generally be delight, because Tywi acts as a support tool to help clarify your message. How much delight they will openly express to you may be linked to whether or not there is a fear of losing their job if they admit to needing Tywi in order to fully understand. A non-personal question such as “Was Tywi useful to any people in the audience?” may be a good approach.
Feedback from fluently bilingual people (who speak both languages) may be something like: “I understand the translation, but there is a mistake on subtitle #2” or “There is a better expression for that word” or “That’s the wrong word for X”. Therefore, a bit more lackluster. Through their ability to speak both languages they do not need translation, and with your request for feedback, their brains are busier comparing than seeing through the eyes of others.
Mistakes in Translation
It is important to remember that "mistakes" in translation can come from 3 sources, most of which can be fixed:
a) The speaker used an expression that does not exist in the translation language. For example, if you are reading a translation from Chinese to English that says: "Your company is a golden company", this is not a translation mistake. "Golden" is how the Chinese describe a company that is honest and trustworthy.
b) A “mistake” in translation may originate from the words being misunderstood by the speech recognition software. This generally occurs if a microphone is poor, there is much external noise going into the microphone, the microphone is too far from the mouth, or the speaker's pronunciation is a bit sloppy (can happen to anyone!) When the original is incorrect, the translation will also be incorrect.
c) Mistranslation occurs when a special term needs to be clarified by entering it in your personal Translation Dictionary. Any one of your attendees can quickly add new words or expressions, and Tywi can import entire glossaries as Excel or MS Word tables.