Speech Translation Systems Coming into Wider Use in Japan

Politics

Tokyo, May 2 (Jiji Press)--Local governments in Japan are increasingly introducing speech translation systems in response to a rise in the number of foreign residents and visitors.

The needs for services in foreign languages other than English are growing, but many prefectural and municipal governments face difficulties securing personnel capable of the task.

In April 2017, the Tokyo metropolitan government introduced five megaphones with speech translators for use in disaster response and security checks.

Named "Megahonyaku," from the words megaphone and honyaku, which means translation in Japanese, the device developed by Panasonic Corp. <6752> can play English, Chinese and Korean translations of pre-registered words spoken into it.

Two of the devices are being used in the baggage check area near the elevators to the observatory of the metropolitan government building. They are used to ask visitors to cooperate with the baggage checks in the three foreign languages, as well as Japanese.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press