Industry Updates

'SAMENA Daily' - News

SKT releases real-time translation service for hot spots

SK Telecom, a major mobile carrier in Korea, released a real-time translation service that supports 13 languages to serve tourism hot spots for foreigners, the company said.

The service, dubbed TransTalker, supports Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese, Arabic and Spanish, among others. More languages will be added in the future depending on user demand.

Lotte Department Store signed a deal with the mobile carrier to implement the software at the information desks of Lotte Avenuel, the retailer’s luxury-brand division, and Lotte World Mall in southern Seoul.

The software installed at information desks works as the user speaks into a microphone in his or her own language, which is translated into Korean for the desk staff to view on a screen. When the Korean employee replies in Korean, the words are translated to the inquirer’s language.

The telecom company collaborated with local AI startup Konan Technology to establish speech-to-text functions and natural language processing.

TransTalker is currently cloud-based software, but the company says that it is opting to develop other models to be utilized in corporate or public institutions with a prioritization on security.

“TransTalker’s greatest advantage lies in its support for various languages and real-time interpretation," SK Telecom Vice President Shin Yong-sik said in a statement. “We plan to roll out services that handle operations and management of TransTalker for small-scale businesses, allowing them to adopt the solution at a low cost.”