DANBURY, CT, USA – 12 December 2018. Translators without Borders’ Kató Speak was recently recognized as one of the best innovative solutions in the translation industry. The spoken translation technology, which has far-reaching applications both in humanitarian crises and beyond, addresses communication issues often faced during a crisis. It received top ‘invader’ honors at the TAUS Game Changer Innovation Awards during the TAUS annual event in Vancouver.
Kató Speak is the first voice translation memory system. It supports low-literacy audiences by providing spoken translations of lifesaving information. The technology is integrated into TWB’s Kató 2.0 translation management environment, allowing community language teams to record key humanitarian information that has already been translated into text. The resulting voice recordings can be played or broadcast by field workers and humanitarian organizations, through glossaries developed by TWB. The recordings also create datasets, laying the foundation for the development of voice technology in marginalized languages.
Currently, Kató Speak is being used in the Rohingya refugee response. Rohingya is an oral language, with no agreed written script, compounding the need for a spoken translation system.
“Kató Speak applies the localization industry’s best practices in written translation to voice in order to address the needs of the world’s most vulnerable people, many of whom are illiterate,” said Mirko Plitt, Head of Technology at Translators Without Borders. “Meanwhile, we use it to collect speech data to build critically needed voice technology in marginalized languages.”
TAUS, a language data network for the global language and translation industries, runs the award program during its annual conference. Competition for the innovation ‘invaders’ award was stiff. Smartling, a TWB sponsor, was runner up with its machine-learning approach to creating better-quality content. Other technologies included blockchain, connectivity solutions, and speech recognition.
About Translators without Borders
Translators without Borders (TWB) envisions a world where knowledge knows no language barriers. The US-based non-profit provides people access to vital knowledge in their language by connecting non-profit organizations with a community of language professionals, building local language solutions and raising awareness of the power of language. Originally founded in 1993 in France (as Traducteurs sans Frontières), TWB translates millions of words of life-saving and life-changing information a year.
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