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Hunt & Hawk Sales & Marketing Tech Tuesdays Article Translation Services

Some of you might recall the days of jetsetting to the other side of the world, firmly gripping a pocket translator phrasebook wherever you went.

Sí? Oui? Ja?

We’ve come a long way in the world of translation services. Or have we?

While attempts at translation technologies can be traced to the late 1940s – that’s not a typo – it was in 1992 that the world’s first public machine translation service was created. It offered an English to German conversion.

This tech was followed up by a game-changer at the time: 1997 witnessed the birth of Babel Fish, commonly regarded as the original free online language translator.

Since then, search engines, websites, portable devices, and other technologies have entered the market, constantly refining their translation prowess in the process.


Babel Fish homepage.

Babel Fish was a game-changer in the translation services world.

Google Enters the Translation Services Game

Google Translate came on the scene in 2006 and is now one of the most popular tools of its type. It’s also considered one of the most accurate. Yet fast-forward 17 years, and various studies suggest Google Translate’s accuracy is somewhere in the 90% range.

There’s no doubt the technology has advanced considerably and made our lives much easier in an increasingly globalised world. But it does demonstrate that it can’t be absolutely relied upon for accuracy. Human skill sets still reign supreme – for now.

Maybe it’s time to dust off that phrasebook after all!


Close up of a phrasebook.

Translation services letting you down? Sometimes, you can’t beat the trusty printed guide. Credit: Romain Vignes on Unsplash.

Translating of a Different kind…

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