Simultaneous Interpretation Device Unveiled at Tokyo Train Station

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A worker at Seibu Shinjuku Station, left, communicates with a woman from Taiwan using a simultaneous interpretation device.

Seibu Railway Co. is planning to introduce on Monday an interpretation device that can display conversations between passengers and station workers at Seibu Shinjuku Station.

The device is a transparent panel through which passengers can see station employees while conversations are simultaneously interpreted and displayed as text.

Station workers can see passengers’ words in Japanese and passengers can see station workers’ words translated into their language while looking at each other through the panel. It can handle 12 languages, including English and Chinese.

The company demonstrated the device to the press on Wednesday as a station worker and an employee from Taiwan communicated with each other.

Seibu Railway wants to improve convenience for foreign tourists, the number of which is recovering after dropping precipitously during the coronavirus pandemic.

The company plans to conduct demonstrations in Tokyo’s Shinjuku area, which is popular among foreign tourists, and aims to fully introduce the system around autumn this year.