Tele2 to offer real-time translation in new trial

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Tele2 is piloting a real-time translation service to help people speaking different languages talk on the phone.

Nokia and Swedish not-for-profit organisation Reach for Change are also involved in the trial, which involves eight teenagers – four from Sweden and four who have recently arrived in the country from Syria.

The service uses Swedish/Arabic translation software that has been recently built by Microsoft. Nokia has adapted Tele2's network in order to make the translated calls work.

The youths involved will report back on the performance of the technology at the end of the four week trial period.

Peter Wennerström, Head of CBT Nordic and Baltic, Nokia, said: “We are excited to test this solution and see how it can be applied. It is essential that people living in Sweden can understand and engage with societal functions in the country, regardless of the language they speak.

"Once this technology is ready for mass use, there will be no limits to the communication potential it can unlock in society."

Sofia Breitholtz, CEO of Reach for Change, added: “This is a great example on how more creative and innovative solutions can open up our society for children and adolescents who have come to Sweden.

"The service can hopefully become a great tool for organisations such as Kompis Sverige, who are doing a fantastic job pairing unaccompanied youth with established Swedish youth."

Apple recently brought translation services to its voice-activated assistant Siri, with the release of iOS 11.

A report from IDC last month suggested wearables could also offer real-time translation services in future.