Since April, the Macau Polytechnic Institute (IPM) has a new Chinese-Portuguese-Chinese voice recognition and simultaneous interpreting system that is expected to lighten the workload of translators and interpreters.

“When a speaker speaks, the system automatically recognises the words and puts them into writing. Then they are automatically and simultaneously translated. So you can see the speech being delivered on a screen in both the source and target languages”, said Gaspar Zhang, coordinator of the IPM’s Portuguese Language Pedagogic and Scientific Centre.

In March this year it was agreed this “aid for the Chinese-Portuguese/Portuguese-Chinese translation of official documents” would be used by the Forum for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and Portuguese-Speaking Countries.

Speaking to journalists at the launch, Gaspar Zhang pointed out that while automatic simultaneous interpreting is now “a reality”, the system was designed to assist translators and interpreters rather than to replace them. “Our intention is to help translators and interpreters”, he said.

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