On the future of the translation profession

On the basis of the Resource Center for Modern Methods of Teaching Foreign Languages ​​of PetrSU, another meeting was held as part of a series of webinars dedicated to the rapid improvement of artificial intelligence and the prospects for its teaching the human language.
History students discussed what awaits translators and specialists in intercultural communication in the near future.

Under the leadership of the head. Department of Foreign Languages ​​of Humanities, Doctor of Philosophy I.E. Abramova and Art. A.V. Ananyina, first-year bachelors of the History of International Relations direction discussed whether it might happen that systems based on artificial intelligence will overtake humans in mastering languages, and whether this will lead to the disappearance of professions related to translation and intercultural communication.

Now specialists in computational linguistics are increasingly confidently saying that in the very near future computers will replace journalists, publicists, translators and other representatives of “linguistic” professions. In this regard, doubts about the need to learn foreign languages ​​are increasingly heard. However, linguists from the world’s largest universities argue that artificial intelligence systems, for all their fantastic learnability, will never use language in the same way that humans do . Neural networks use statistical methods to instantly process text corpora, but they cannot predict what their interlocutor will talk about, and are unable to reason about imaginary things or abstract phenomena.

A translator is not just a person who speaks a foreign language, but an intermediary between two languages ​​and two cultures. The demand for translation services is constantly growing, but in the modern world it is becoming more difficult to find professionals in this field, because there are many requirements for them.

Currently, there are many technologies for better and faster translation, for example, CAT (computer-aided translation). The so-called “translation memory” is used, that is, a database containing a set of previously translated text segments. However, machine translation also has its drawbacks, such as the inability to cope with texts of a high level of complexity.

Now more and more “live” translators are being replaced by various technologies. But despite the development of machine translation systems, which now in many cases are almost not inferior to specialists and, in addition, have a huge advantage in terms of translation speed, the number of languages ​​used and accessibility, a machine still cannot be compared with a person. There are many industries where a person is needed,

– such conclusions were made by the participants of the webinar.

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