09 June 2023

The ultimate guide to real-time translation in customer service.

Graphic representing translation

The rapid advance of technology, and especially the technology connected to communication, means that we are experiencing a strong shift from interlingual, written, and delayed communication to spoken, immediate communication. In spoken communication we rely on knowing the other person’s language, using a lingua franca or, more recently, real-time language translation. 

What is real-time translation?

Real-time language translation is, as the name suggests, the process of using technology to translate one language into another in real time. Allowing for near-immediate communication between two speakers who do not speak the same language or the lingua franca.

It is becoming increasingly important as communication, especially in the workplace, switches from email or chat-based conversations to live ones via video or audio conferencing, and because a huge part of business, in general, is becoming international.

Real-time translation can be done either via voice or via text, with text being the prevalent form due to pronunciation issues. 

How is real-time translation evolving?

Before, if you wanted to have an interlingual conversation you relied on real-time translators, pocketable devices with word banks which would translate what you wanted to say by having you type a phrase in your language and then the device “saying” the translated version or simply printing it out on the screen. 

These got the job done but were usually very clunky and slow to use. Also, they were not situational, meaning they were more or less literal in their translation, making the use of real-time translators very limited. They rely on word banks and dictionaries often translating word for word without attempting to mimic real speech and without taking into account idioms and colloquial expressions.

With the rise of machine learning and AI, though, we have reached a point where near-immediate interlingual communication is no longer a distant idea. AI-powered real-time language translation is being developed and used by many big companies in the tech world. By building AI models of speech we can create translators that function faster and more reliably than previous versions. This is also creating organic speech models that no longer sound too formal but mimic the way that people actually speak in a certain language. 

This is opening the doors to commercial use in certain industries.

Transcom’s Automated Translation.

A mockup of Transcom Automated Translation

We at Transcom have recently unveiled our own real-time translator called Automated Translation, powered by AI. We wanted to make real-time translation a reality both via text and via voice so that agents can reply to customers in any channel they use, in any language without the need to learn it. The tool was made focusing on three things:

  1. Ease of use
  2. Integration
  3. Accuracy

Ease of use

The point of new tools and technologies is that they should help with, enhance or simplify the agent experience. We’ve all met with new devices or solutions that seem great on paper but just end up being more of a hassle than they’re worth. That was the main thing we set out to avoid.

Our real-time translation tool was made with ease of use in mind. We wanted the agent to quickly and effortlessly implement the tool into their workflow, requiring as little deviation from their standard routine as possible. Also, the tool takes the agent’s mind off of translation by allowing them not to worry if their message is coming across correctly so that they can focus on the task at hand. This in turn increases both agent and customer satisfaction. 

Faster and more accurate service? Happy customers!


The integration aspect continues down the path of ease of use. There’s no point in a solution that can’t work with specific platforms or that has to be bent into place to work. Seamless integration was a goal for us from the word go.

This means that, whatever your platform, Automated Translation can be integrated with ease. Making the start of use in the near future without the need for restructuring or many intense work hours to set up. 


Lastly, the whole point of a real-time translator is to translate and to do it well. Our tool boasts a 97% accuracy making worrying about the meaning and correctness of translation a thing of the past. 

Not only that, but Automated Translation is AI-powered meaning it understands context and idioms, translating them with regard to what’s around them and not the sentences in isolation.

This creates a more natural and fluid conversation between agent and customer and leads to better understanding and communication.

Benefits of real-time translation.

It’s easy to get excited about a tool like this, especially when it performs as well as Automated Translation. 

From cost reduction due to the ability to hire in more competitive markets, being able to rotate agents, or even move entire operations. The ability to manage peak surges with ease. Shortening training times. Opening the doors to quick expansion into new markets or scaling up in existing ones. To “simply” optimizing agent performance due to the ability to speak multiple languages with almost native accuracy. The major benefits it brings are invaluable to a business in both the short and long term.


In conclusion.

Real-time translators are, slowly but surely, becoming invaluable tools. While they used to be clunky and tied to a specific device, the rise of AI could change that. Our AI-powered solution, Automated Translation, is proving to be the next big thing in customer service real-time translation, creating omnilingual agents in moments and offering numerous benefits to our customers. If you’re interested, the next step in CX is just a click away.