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Hawai‘i State Piloting Language Translation App

December 21, 2018, 9:23 AM HST (Updated December 21, 2018, 9:23 AM)
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The State of Hawai‘i Office of Enterprise Technology (ETS) is piloting a language translation application that converts content into 80 different languages.

The app was created through a collaboration between ETS and Google Cloud, using the Google Cloud Translation API.

According to research by the Department of Business and Economic Development, about one in four Hawai‘i residents aged 5 and older speaks a language other than English. This pilot project will make information more accessible to non-English speakers and enable government officials to communicate with their constituents more effectively and efficiently.

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Right now, the app is being used to demonstrate its capabilities through the translation of legislative documents.

While using the application, a person can query in their native language and once the search completes, the document translates.

Eventually, ETS plans to implement the application to provide translation services for State of Hawai‘i websites.

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The underlying technology used to support the translator application is updated constantly to include improvements from Google Cloud research teams, which results in better translations and new languages and language pairs.

This translator application is one of the many innovative projects ETS is working on. Earlier this year, Hawaii was ranked first among fifty states in emerging technologies/innovation, according to the Center for Digital Government’s 2018 Digital States Survey.

About Office of Enterprise Technology Services

The Office of Enterprise Technology Services (ETS) provides governance for executive branch IT projects and seeks to identify, prioritize and advance innovative initiatives with the greatest potential to increase efficiency, reduce waste, and improve transparency and accountability in state government. ETS also supports the management and operation of all state agencies by providing effective, efficient, coordinated and cost-beneficial computer and telecommunication services such that state program objectives may be achieved. For more information, visit ets.hawaii.gov.

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