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2016.12.13 J-TALK: Japan’s first interpreting service for personal use
In the final quarter of 2015, BeMap Inc., a company that conducts mobile system integration for infrastructure such as railways in Japan, launched its J-TALK interpreting service. This service includes the first ever interpreting service in Japan aimed at personal use.

J-TALK’s unique feature lies in its ability to provide an interpreting service through an operator and not through machine translation. Mr. Sugino, president of BeMap Inc., says that many of his clients feel that “machine translation is inadequate”, and expressed his belief that human involvement in interpreting will be required for the foreseeable future.

J-TALK’s interpreting center adopts a crowdsourcing-type system rather than a call center-type system. By matching and connecting each user and interpreter from the crowd, call center overheads are kept low. In addition, skilled international students residing in Japan are employed as part-time interpreters in an effort to realize J-TALK’s reasonable service usage fees while maintaining interpretation quality.

According to Mr. Sugino, there is a secondary effect of employing international students as interpreters, in that the interpreters can understand the context behind the conversation as they interpret. J-TALK’s interpreting service achieves a ‘human’ conversation, something not possible through machine translation.

J-TALK was initially orientated towards existing, company-based clients, but word-of-mouth has seen demand for its personal use and short term, overseas use interpreting services grow at a rapid rate.

For more information, please refer to the following websites:

Below: J-TALK logo