The Fourth Industrial Revolution in the translation sector: E-globalcom.net to be rebranded as Nativ.eu
Shifting emphasis from the network to the human behind the machine
Ghent, 2 January 2018 – The translation agency Global Communication, better known by the URL of its website, E-globalcom.net, will from now on be called Nativ.eu. With this name change, Global Communication wants to put the person behind the machine back in the foreground, affirming that specialised native speakers remain the key to quality translations, despite the digital disruption and artificial intelligence that seems to be everywhere these days.
Founded 25 years ago by Walter Weyne, Global Communication has become a trusted translation partner for a wide range of customers, from local businesses to multinationals. From the start, the translation agency was one of the first communication companies to fully harness the internet to provide language and translation services, and in the 1990s, it was a pioneer in creating a comprehensive online platform for customers and translators: E-globalcom.net. In 2005, E globalcom.net was singled out for recognition by Belgium's main business association, Unizo, as the very first E business Site of the Year, for its groundbreaking online platform for full-service business operations. The company has continued to intelligently apply new technological advances to constantly improve quality and efficiency. And that's not self-evident in a world where it all has to go faster and faster.
A crowded marketplace
In the meantime, worldwide, a number of major players have entered the translation market, but their quality and reliability often leave much to be desired. The internet is now awash with online translation services offering ever faster and cheaper service, but generally, in terms of quality, you get what you pay for. At the same time, there are also international scam artists out there who try to sell free machine translations as the work of so-called specialists… So, more than ever, you just can't be too careful.
Robots behind the scenes?
In 2017, with great hoopla, Google launched a new version of its translation robot Google Translate, and a month later, the small-scale German player DeepL claimed to offer even better results. It all depends on the subject, the language combination and the degree of difficulty (or rather, the simplicity) of the text. We have all heard stories of machine or automatic translations generating amusing, or even highly embarrassing results.
Between theory and practice, dream and reality, science and fiction, the gulf may be wide, but if what is being called 'neural software' becomes a reality, and can be truly self-teaching, society could be on the brink of a revolution. This will involve computer systems that are inspired by the structure and functioning of the human brain, able to effectively imitate it. These systems are expected to be able to connect our refrigerators, coffee machines and stoves with each other in an Internet of Things. All of this is leading to talk of a 4th Industrial Revolution, with an impact comparable to that of steam power, the combustion engine and globalisation.
The person behind the machine
"When a technology masters a new capability, we call it smart. But even a supercomputer powered by artificial intelligence remains something of an 'idiot savant', who knows all the facts but is unable to interpret them. That kind of person would not be much use at a translation agency, when our customers simply want the best translator!", says Walter Weyne. "It’s clear that two completely different standards are being applied: A thermostat with a sensor is considered smart, but what about an engineer who did not achieve top marks? While we admire the computer for every word it gets correct, we reproach the translator – and rightly so, of course – for the slightest error".
In light of this technological (r)evolution, Weyne decided that the name E-globalcom.net no longer properly reflects the point at which we have arrived. "It’s high time to rediscover the living, breathing translator: the specialist 'native speaker' who truly understands what the customer is trying to say and can accurately translate it. That's the idea behind the name Nativ.eu (pronounced: native you): Your native speaker! Finally, a name that's easy to remember."
What does the future have in store?
The fact that Nativ.eu wants to reaffirm the advantage of human translators over automatic technology doesn't mean we don't intend to make the most of technological tools. Weyne: "On the contrary, we are taking the lead in calling for all this new potential to be intelligently applied – by putting it in the hands of the smartest translators. For me, it's clear: The future is hybrid. Or, as the influential Vlerick professor Steven Van Belleghem put it: 'when digital becomes human'."
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Nativ.eu is the new name of Global Communication, the translation agency founded in 1992 by Walter Weyne. In the past 25 years, the agency has become a trusted partner in translation and language services for businesses in Belgium and abroad, and has built up a worldwide network of specialised native-speaker translators. In 2005, the website E globalcom.net was selected by Unizo as e-business site of the year.
Feel free to contact Walter Weyne on 09/220.58.03 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Further information about Nativ.eu is also available on www.nativ.eu.