Online language service wins prize

November 16, 2001

An online translating and interpreting service offered by Queen's University Belfast has scooped an award in the province that will take it to national finals in London later this month, writes Olga Wojtas.

The service, set up in 1998 by the university's language centre, has won the Northern Ireland languages services award under the Trade Partners UK's national languages for export campaign.

The campaign helps UK industry develop the skills necessary to compete in non-English speaking markets.

The language centre uses only native speakers for the service. It has a database of more than 170 translators, either university staff or specialists qualified through the Institute of Linguists.

Documents to be translated are sent to and returned by the translator electronically.

Brenda Boyce of the centre said: "Recently, representatives from a (Northern Ireland) company who were in Germany were able to send documents to us electronically and have the translation returned while they were still in Germany.

"We have no doubt that this type of high-quality fast turnaround will become of increasing importance in global business, and we are constantly upgrading our resources so as to facilitate it."

The centre has also joined forces with Queen's School of Languages, Literature and Arts to develop online language training courses in French, German and Spanish for businesses, and Irish for culture and heritage.

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