Recently, many local residents of Los Angeles have found themselves more likely to encounter Chinese tourists who scan a QR code of Youdao Translator before communicating with them in occasions like tourist reception, ticketing and taxi hailing.
Youdao Translator, a mobile translation APP developed by NetEase, has expanded its accessibility to many popular tourist destinations including the USA, Japan, France, Italy and Thailand. The app provides instant free translation services in 107 languages. Tourists who subscribed to the service are able to start barrierless communication upon scanning the QR code of the app.
The number of Chinese tourists going overseas has been growing steadily in recent years. In 2018, the figure was 150 million, up 14.7% year-on-year, and is estimated to reach 166 million in 2019. However, according to iResearch, 61% of the cross-border tourists reported struggling with language barriers. To address the pain point, Youdao Translator has made itself the third Chinese APP to launch its QR code across the world after WeChat and Alipay. Now, whether tourists are in streets, restaurants, hotels or at scenic attractions in the destination country, they can easily find and scan the QR code of Youdao Translator to install the application on their phones, which supports real-time speech-to-text translation and image-to-text translation in 107 languages. This means that in scenarios like travel, business and social interactions, people speaking different languages will be able to communicate with each other freely.
Apart from utilizing its proprietary OCR technology, Youdao Translator also employs Neural Machine Translation (YNMT) technology designed by the company on its own, which has a capability rated 7% above average in the Bilingual Evaluation Understudy (BLEU) for both Chinese-English and English-Chinese translations. In areas of news and English-learning translations, Youdao’s YNMT outperforms Google’s translation system GNMT.
Currently, Youdao Translator has become an indispensable application for Chinese tourists travelling abroad. In the peak season, more than 30% of overseas tourists are using Youdao Translator every day.
With other features like offline translation, Youdao Translator has ascended into APP Store’s list of recommendations for seven times and is the all-time favorite application for users in terms of download numbers.
“With different language environments varying from Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Arabic, Mongolian to Swahili, it is hard to imagine how tourists can effectively communicate with local people,” said Dai Bin, President of the Data Research Institute of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
“Thanks to speech recognition and real-time translation technologies, communication is becoming easier for the tourists.”
With ever-growing cross-border tourists from China, Internet giants such as Alibaba, Tencent, and NetEase have all started to expand their presence in tourism, and are accelerating the iterative pace of their online products and services in the mobile Internet era. With solid technological strengths and a commitment on solving pain points associated with the tourism industry, Youdao Translator will continue to lead the way in online translation services for travelers.
Company: NetEase Youdao Information Technology (Beijing) Co., Ltd.
Contact: Hellen Liu
This news is published on Reuters.