“Imagine a system that can automatically book a detainee into police custody - or guide them through
being breathalysed, a DNA or blood-test; or complete a pre-clinical medical checklist; or carry out a
border-control conversation AND do all of this IN ANY LANGUAGE USING REAL, HUMAN
...that's what LA does - 50-90% cheaper and 2-4 times faster.
Language Assistant (LA) | Frequently Asked Questions
How does LA work?
When your organisation has conversations over and over again (but with many different people, who give different answers to questions etc.) you can put these conversations into LA, have them translated into other languages once, and then have LA deliver conversations automatically in any of those languages at a fraction of the cost and time – because the conversations are "translated once", not"interpreted every time". LA interacts with your staff entirely in English.
This reduces the cost of these conversations by between 50% and 90%, depending on circumstances. Conversations can also take 2x - 4x less time than by traditional means.
What conversations can I have?
Almost all conversations can be broken down into “components” that have specific words, phrases, sentences and questions in them. LA can deliver these (in whichever language is chosen) structured and sequenced into exactly the order in which you need them.
LA can handle:
·Statements (for instructions, feedback or information) ·Yes/No Questions ·Multiple-Choice Questions (“choose one answer”) ·Multiple-Choice Selections (“tick all that apply”) ·Data Entry (for dates, telephone numbers, addresses, age – whatever information is required) ·Several other context-sensitive conversational components
Questions can be used to ‘navigate’ through the conversation. By breaking down conversations into their component parts in this way LA can handle almost any conversation on any topic – and in any language.
Do I need to understand any other languages?
No. LA has conversations for you in the language that the other person understands and tells you everything about the conversation - in English - as the conversation progresses. You tell LA about the conversations that you’d like it to have entirely in English. Once the conversation “works” in English all of the conversation’s components are translated into the languages you need.
How do my conversations get into LA?
LA has its own internal way of representing conversations – your conversation is described in this format and then LA can deliver your conversation for you automatically.
LA can be thought of as being the Microsoft ExcelTM for multi-lingual conversations. With Excel there is “Excel - the software application” which creates and manages “Excel spreadsheets”.
With LA there is “LA – the software application” which creates and manages “LA conversations” which are stored in a format that both you and LA can understand. Some conversations are available “off the shelf” (e.g. Custody Detention "Booking-In"). All conversations can be delivered in any languages required.
How does LA save money?
There’s more than one way:
1.Because conversation(s) aretranslated once, notinterpreted every time the cost of using interpreters is removed or massively reduced – by between 50% and 90%, depending on circumstances.
2.By being instantly availableLA removes all of the set-up time associated with using an interpreter – set-up time that involves your people, whose time costs money.
3.By being very fast at identifying languages LA shrinks this activity to seconds rather than minutes or hours which converts directly into saving money.
How much does LA cost?
LA is priced per-business-process in an “open-book” fashion designed to deliver at least a 50% saving on the multi-lingual delivery of conversations - principally by removing or minimising the direct cost of interpreters. When combined with LA’s staff-time and other efficiency savings (which are not charged for) this can add up to a much greater overall cost-saving of, depending on circumstances, between 50% and 90%.
Because technology can often deliver such massive, “game-changing” cost reductions we’re confident that an “open-book” pricing structure is the best way to do this.
Is quality an issue?
LA maintains (and can improve) quality in three main ways:
1.LA uses certified, trusted, human translations done by qualified translators that can be cross- checked independently for quality assurance. It does not use “computer translations” as these are notoriously unreliable and unsuitable for use in important, professional communications.
2.By capturing conversations and processes LA ensures that each individual conversation is carried out correctly and appropriately, encapsulating best-practice.
3.By removing interpreters LA also removes the possibility of individuals having inappropriate conversations with the interpreter - where, for example, an interpreter could deliberately or inadvertently “coach” the individual as to the “right” or “best” responses.
Can LA record conversations for evidence?
LA can, by default, record each step of each conversation in a secure, unique, internal log-file – every statement made, question asked and answer given is logged. For security purposes log-files aren’t directly accessible to end-users. Instead, they are used to produce a written report of the conversation – at the click of a button – which can be used both as evidence that the conversation took place and as evidence of exactly what the conversation contained. Users can also enter comments and reference information into reports (e.g. a custody-reference; an NHS number etc.) which also makes reports easier to find later.
Reports can be printed, emailed or stored electronically in other applications or document repositories.
Are there benefits for “the other person” as well as me?
Yes. Often “the other person” could be frightened or anxious because they are not able to speak the standard local language. LA – by communicating with them almost instantly in their own language – can give comfort that they are being treated properly and are being taken seriously which reduces stress and anxiety.
What about people who can't read or write or have other challenges?
LA can be configured to work in audio-only mode where communication to the client is delivered by spoken translations rather than on-screen text. Appropriate "no text" configuration is used on their touch-screen to collect answers (e.g. "...for yes press the green square on the left; for no press the red triangle on the right"). Similarly, LA can also be configured to use video communication (for example, for sign-language communication for the hearing-impaired).
How best can I evaluate whether LA is right for my organisation’s needs?
It can be tricky to understand exactly how LA works simply from reading descriptions or looking at pictures – it’s a radically new, innovative technology. However, it becomes clear almost instantly when seen demonstrated (see our demo page here for a video demonstration).
We would strongly recommend seeing a live demonstration of LA as the first part of any evaluation.
To arrange a demonstration please follow the 'contact us' link (top or bottom of page).
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