Instant Translate from Questionmark wins ITCC Innovation Award 2022
“What SAP and Questionmark have developed to enhance support for non-native English speakers is truly remarkable and innovative. The On-The-Fly Real Time Translation Tool enables them to extend exam availability to multiple language speakers on day one, while saving program time and money. This is a great solution and well deserving of the ITCC Innovation award.”
– Jedi Hammond, ITCC Chair.
Instant Translate’s key features and benefits
Instant Translate from Questionmark is an award-winning feature with several benefits to customers and test-takers alike:
- Fast and interactive: all translations happen on-screen and in-context instantly
- Fair and inclusive: helps candidates taking a test in their non-native language with the ability to succeed fairly
- Supports growth: supports organizations in delivering their assessments to new markets worldwide
- Reduces test-taker anxiety: supports candidates understanding so they are able to focus on the subject matter
- Cost-effective: a cost-effective option that places the power into test-takers’ hands
- Wide-reaching: has the ability to translate 22 target languages
- Highly flexible: gives test-takers the choice to turn the tool on and off per assessment depending on their needs
How does Instant Translate from Questionmark work?
Questionmark’s award-winning Instant Translate tool operates via machine translation, allowing test-takers to highlight any text they want to see in their chosen language and get an instantaneous translation right on screen and in-assessment. It’s a powerful tool for fully translating a question, or simply double-checking a test-taker’s understanding of a particular word or phrase, which is particularly helpful for those people taking a test in their non-native language. Its interactive nature also means test-takers benefit from automatic translations on-screen and total flexibility as to when they use it.
How powerful are machine translations?
While not perfect all the time, machine translation technology is known for being a great option for many organizations and individuals, and it’s an area of tech that’s advancing all the time. However, while good, it’s by no means perfect, especially when it comes to the nuanced understanding of a test-taker and ease of use.
Typically, machine translations operate by translating entire pages of text, meaning that if a test-taker has a good grasp of a language but would likely struggle with some niche terms or turns of phrase, they can’t simply translate only that section of text. Instead, they have to have the whole page translated and scroll to find the specific translation they wanted before then reverting back to the original, non-translated source material. Not only is this fiddly and breaks a test-taker’s concentration, but it also doesn’t facilitate the broader aim of learning a language because it’s difficult to compare the words in their original form alongside the translation.
How is Instant Translate different from standard machine translation technology?
Instant Translate is designed to use machine translation in a very specific way. Rather than removing test-takers from where they are in order to have to find a difficult phrase in a newly translated document, Instant Translate from Questionmark is built to allow test-takers to view a translation side-by-side with the original text. Better still, Instant Translate will only translate the words a test-taker highlights, avoiding the unnecessary process of scrolling through a full-page translation. In doing this, Instant Translate takes all the power of machine translation to generate instant and on-screen translations while also placing control in the test-taker’s hands. The result is a tool that provides the most immediate benefit to the test taker, allowing them to take a test fairly, while also helping ameliorate potential ambiguities in stand-alone machine translations.
What are the Instant Translate language options?
- Chinese (Mandarin)
- Norwegian (Bokmål)
- Portuguese (Brazil)
Why do translation capabilities matter in assessments?
At Questionmark, we believe education is a human right, and it’s why we’re always looking for pioneering ways to bring more inclusivity, equity, and accessibility into the world of assessments. Instant Translate is but one arm of this, a translation tool to facilitate fair and inclusive tests in a language-rich world.
But is language really such a huge roadblock to fair and valid assessments?
Put simply, yes. The language barrier is one that’s often overlooked as being something that’s relatively simple to fix, after all, we could use country of residence as an indicator of languages spoken by an individual, or point to the fact that many people can speak multiple languages. Surely then, in light of these facts, we can very easily mitigate any potential language barriers with regards to educational opportunities?
Fluency and non-native speakers
While at first glance these points make sense, the fact is that internationally, there are many languages spoken and in every country, there will be a significant number of people who aren’t fluent in its language. Even for those individuals who do speak numerous languages, there are still significant barriers caused by linguistic quirks. Recent estimations claim that 43% of the world is bilingual and 17% is multilingual, and yet it would be unfair to pretend that some of the linguistic idiosyncrasies that come naturally to a native speaker (idioms, similes) should be comprehendible to someone for whom it’s a second language. And what of those who don’t speak a language at all?
These issues cause notable disadvantages to those who aren’t native speakers of a particular language, especially given that many exam publishers only author assessments in one language. Unchecked, this exclusion from fair assessments leads to businesses missing out on global opportunities, undiscovered talent, and most importantly, fewer opportunities for individuals.
With the award-winning Instant Translate tool, test publishers can offer tests that provide a fairer experience for non-native speakers in a fast and cost-effective manner, opening the door to more inclusive learning experiences for everyone.
Instant Translate wins ITCC Innovation Award
Questionmark, in partnership with SAP, was delighted to be awarded the 2022 ITCC Innovation Award for our Instant Translate tool earlier this year. At Questionmark, we’re passionate about making learning accessible to all, and with Instant Translate, organizations and test-takers can now mutually benefit from assessments that can be read in a chosen language instantly.