New airport device will translate speech into 74 languages

It is hoped Pocketalk will enable staff to have better communication with international passengers.

New airport device will translate speech into 74 languages Pixabay
Edinburgh Airport: A new machine will translate languages.

A device that can translate speech into 74 languages has been introduced at a Scottish airport to help staff communicate with international passengers.

Pocketalk works by letting people speak into it and the translation is then played through a speaker or displayed on screen for the other person to read.

The handheld machine, which can translate languages including Spanish, French, Arabic, Japanese and Swahili, has now been introduced at the security area at Edinburgh Airport.

It will be available to staff every day and will be used alongside native speakers on the security teams who currently help to translate.

Advertisement

Gordon Dewar, chief executive of Edinburgh Airport, said: “We’re an international airport in a city and country known for its diversity, its inclusiveness and its welcoming nature, and we want to make passengers feel at home at the airport.

“The security process is one of the most important as we need to ensure the safety of all passengers and staff so it’s vital that we have the ability to clearly explain the process and help people understand so we can make that process as positive as possible.

“We’re already lucky to have native speakers within our teams – Pocketalk will enhance our ability to talk to those people who come from all over the world to visit Edinburgh and Scotland.”

The device is also being rolled out to other teams across the terminal who deal with passengers.

Advertisement

Tomoaki Kojima, managing director of Sourcenext, the makers of Pocketalk, said: “Pocketalk was developed to connect cultures and create experiences for people that do not speak the same language.

“With 95% market share and more than 600,000 users, we hope to redefine the translation space.

“We are proud to be partnering with Edinburgh Airport to improve their passenger experience and look forward to developing this partnership in 2020.”