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International Travel

Planning to travel overseas is exciting as it’s filled with wild imaginations of meeting different people, submerging yourself in historical sites you’ve always wanted to see, or trying out fascinating cultural activities. However, if you are like most people traveling internationally, you may come across problems such as communicating with locals who don’t speak the same language as yourself. After all, we can all relate to the frustrations of language and cultural barriers when we travel to another country or get lost without any assistance especially when we need it the most.

Many of us have ever dreamed of having our personal language assistant when and where we travel overseas. However, the high cost of having someone go everywhere with you is prohibitive, unless you are the boss of a Fortune 500 company or the elected government official. For most of us, we have to deal with the reality that language challenges are just a part of our international travel experience.

The advent of translation apps on mobile phones has finally offered hopes for international travelers, allowing them to get language support everywhere right from their fingertips and on-demand. Many apps offer instant translation services so users can snap a picture of a street sign or a menu entry and then have the text instantly translated into their native language. However, until now, most of these translation apps all use machine translation like Google Translate or iTranslate. The issue with machine translation is that they often lead to more difficulties than solutions due to sporadically inaccurate results.

This is why mobile translation apps like Stepes that are powered by human translators are a game changer as they allow international travelers to get real-time and quality language assistance they can trust anywhere and anytime. The word “anywhere” is important here because translation apps that use machine translation can only support about 100 languages at the present time. This is because it takes time and a lot of data, or raw linguistic materials in both the source and target languages to build a reasonably decent machine translation engine that produces even the most basic machine translation service. The fact of the matter is the world has 6,500 spoken languages. Therefore, if you are traveling to Africa or many Southeastern Asian countries, you may be out of luck simply because machine translations are not available and may not be for many years to come. With human powered translation apps like Stepes, you can find human translators and interpreters for a much larger number of languages right now.

There are many benefits with human based mobile translation apps:

  • Good quality translation that you can depend on. Stepes uses human translators that are pre-qualified to provide language translation and live interpretation service on-demand. Each translator is also constantly rated for his/her translation quality for every job. Rest assured, only the good ones will be around over time. Like the Uber experience shared riding service, accountability with transparency lead to improved service quality and performance.
  • Above and beyond translation services. With machine translation, all you get is a verbatim translation of the text you want translated. However, this is often inadequate for most travelers’ language translation needs. For example, getting emergency medical help often involves explaining the circumstances for the doctor to make an informed decision. While machine translation is good for snippet of short texts, it is painfully inadequate trying to explain a circumstance or tell a story. There are many other instances where human interpreters are best suited for the job such as attending an overseas business meeting, visiting a foreign bank to open up a temporary bank account, or getting directions to places you want to visit. Such requirements are above and beyond just verbatim translation which is why only human translators can deliver what you need.
  • Making international friends across cultures. There are numerous examples of people who travel to other countries and become lifelong friends with local tour guides or other people they meet during the trip. Having the ability to hire your local language assistant will give you the opportunity to make friends across cultures in addition to learning about local foods, histories, and customs. Stepes One-on-One allows you to get connected with local language people in a natural and spontaneous environment so you can bond and develop friendship globally.
  • Free language translation service. Stepes offers a translation exchange service for people who are bilingual. The good news is that every other person in this world is bilingual. Indeed, over half of the entire world population speaks two or more languages. So if you are lucky to be one of the bilingual people in the world, you can exchange your bilingual skills with others to obtain free translation services. Here is how this free language service exchange works. Upon signing up with Stepes, you automatically get 100 points that you can spend on getting translation support during your next international trip, may it be in France, Japan, or China. By volunteering to translate in your own native language for others in need of translation help, you will earn equal amount of points. As a plus, this will allow you to forever receive free translation services by continuing to translate for others. Bottom line, this is a perfect example of the sharing economy in which we all have some free time to share with others by utilizing our knowledge and service.

So don’t get lost again in your next international trip, download the free Stepes app today and see how much better your international travel experience will be.