It has never been easy to translate a play or a puppet show in real time. For several years, some translation companies have been working with a technology that involves projecting the dialogues in English as surtitles, either across the top of the proscenium arch or down the sides of the stage, but it’s hard for the spectator to follow the action and at the same time read the live translation.
A revolution in the field of translation
However, a few days ago at the Théâtre de Paris and other theaters in the French capital, some innovative translation glasses were to be found on sale. The high-tech specs are connected to Internet enabling the translation of the dialogues to be projected onto the lenses themselves. The spoken exchanges are previously translated by professional translators before the performance. This is certainly a revolution for tourists from around the world who want to enjoy the full flavor of French culture.
The augmented reality glasses that work via Wi-Fi were manufactured for a multitude of purposes in France by a Breton technology company. The programs, meanwhile, have been developed by the Atos company with business entrepreneur, Thierry Breton at the helm.
Theatre for all thanks to translation glasses!
Carl de Poncins, head of TheatreInParis explains: “Thanks to regular visits from a completely Anglophone Australian friend, who was frustrated by being unable to go to the theatre when in Paris, I saw the need to provide a translation of shows in real time.” The new super-device instantly won over TheatreInParis, a translation company which specialises in translating shows. This innovative translation service is all the rage at the moment, as could be seen at the Avignon Festival, where two plays were performed, King Lear and Return to Berratham, which offered spectators the opportunity to try out the translator glasses. The specs can translate into six languages, including Mandarin Chinese and Russian, an amazing first!
Translation in 3D
In fact, this technological innovation is a new way to allow culture to be accessible to everybody, regardless of origin or language. Offering live translations allows foreign spectators to enjoy a real theatre experience, encouraging even more to go and see, for example, a play by Molière. How far can the use of translation glasses go? Only time can tell.
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