Technology has been evolving continuously at a very fast pace like never before. Humans have invented various technologies that their mind can imagine. Twenty years ago, there were no phone lines in developing countries like India. In order to access a phone line people had to travel miles to use a public phone booth to call up their loved ones. Then came the cell phone revolution where an incoming call was charged at a really high price. Things changed with time, and many organizations ventured into the telecommunications industry making outgoing calls cheaper and the incoming calls free. The communication industry just changed. Communication across the whole world became so easy from booking a Trunk call from one country to another country to just dial a number to reach a person sitting on the other side of the globe. So now we are in 2012 where phones have literally become computers, leaving the customer with the choice between buying a phone or a computer. In just around 2 to 3 decades, there has been immense rise in the development of technology with respect to communication increasing the demand of technical translation.
If we talk about the technological developments human beings have been able to accomplish in other industries, then this article would probably become a thesis. Computers have evolved in a similar manner. Starting from a mega sized bulky computer with an operating system like DOS, to today wherein it’s possible to send emails rather than communicating through phones. The technology of the latest computers has been synchronised with phones to make lives of human beings much easier and comfortable. We are now living in the generation of I pads which weights approximately 650 grams compared to a desktop computer that weighs over 8 Kgs and is importable. Isn’t this a proof of the amazing power human beings have to create anything that they believe is possible and make their lives easier? The world of internet has just expanded since its existence. Any product/service can be bought without having to physically go to a shop whilst at the comfort of your home or office. Back in the days when we were in school, if we had a question in mind, we had to wait to go to the school or my tuitions to get an answer for my question.
Today the same situation has a solution available in matter of seconds through search engines like Google. More and more schools encourage these kind of self learning process compared to traditional methods like professors delivering lectures to students. The use of technology is just increasing in almost each and every area of our life. From traditional marriages now people meet and create a relationship over the Internet. It’s great to see how human beings are literally unstoppable and continue to invent and develop technology at a lightning speed.
Look at the picture above and observe it carefully. The man on the extreme right is the only individual reading the traditional book. I have been commuting by public transport for several years. Finding someone on the tube with a Kindle was a rarity five years ago. However now a day I see dozens of people using their Kindle or iPad on public transport. I am sure you people have also observed a rise in use of Kindle and iPad users whilst using public transport. Technology is solely responsible for this transformation from paper books to EBooks. A Topic which has regularly been discussed and talked about in the recent past. Traditional book or Ebook. Traditional book readers still argue with the advancement of Ebooks and hesitate to accept the success of paperless books. Traditional book readers find the touch, smell and sense of paper books fascinating and intriguing. Certain experts believe physical books will always have space in the market since many authors want their content to be published in a physical book.
During 2011 the Ebook sales grew by 54% whilst on the other hand the sales of physical books dropped by 3%. The rise of Ebook sales have impacted High street book shops with thousands already shut. Technology, Internet and the latest communication devices have literally changed the way we interact with people. One of the most important reasons behind rise of Ebooks in the ease with which a reader can use the internet to translate his/her book. People have varied interests and like reading on subjects which require them to understand a foreign language or culture. With latest technology in place Ebook readers can use Translation services to simplify their process. Whilst interacting with a friend who works in a Translation Agency I came across several incidents when enquires where made about Ebook Translation. Sources like Amazon and Ebay have multiplied the progress of digital content. The ease of downloading Ebooks and the ‘time saving’ factor has also added to the diminishing interest in physical books.
Future of Physical books….
Above all now we have different technological devices like the Kindle, ipad and other latest smart phones which allow readers to download content easily. Being a writer and blogger myself I do write and publish my content online. However how would I love to publish my content in a physical book? Predication is not my forte. Technology is inventible and has impacted each and every industry in the market. So can we safely say that physical books will be extinct by 2020? However the future of Physical books clearly lies on us. If we move with technology and continue downloading online content than future of physical books look bleak. On the other hand the latest figures indicate a tremendous increase in use of Ebooks among Generation Y. So it clearly seems the question still looms large – Traditional Books or Ebooks?
What is Generation Y?
Generation Y are the section of young people that have grown up with world of technology and communications that we have today.
Generation Y could be classed as those born in the 80’s through to the 90’s and early 2000’s. This generation has grown up with the internet, mobile phones and the rapidly advancing technology we see today.
Unlike Generation X which are the post-war baby boomer generation that grew up with a change in economic prosperity, rapidly changing social mores, rise of individualism and rise of different languages. Generation Y have come to expect certain things in their everyday lives and almost have a sense of entitlement that did not exist in previous generations.
The main characteristics of a Generation Y individual are: technically proficient in the use of gadgets – your average Y individual will have a mobile phone ( with multi-functional facilities), laptop, possibly a tablet and a myriad of portable gaming devices (depending on whether a boy or girl) such as a Nintendo Wii, Playstation console or Xbox. These are standards for Generation Y kids and they find it hard to understand a time when such devices did not exist.
Generation Y are also used to communicating primarily via these technological devices or gadgets. The rise in the use of email, text message, video messaging, social network sites and things such as Skype mean that the Generation Y individual has multiple means of communication and keeping in touch. Different Translation services are available for Generation Y to make their communication process simpler and technologically driven.
Generation Y individuals are also characteristically more culturally liberal as evidenced by the divergence of many ethnic and racial groups in large cosmopolitan areas and countries. These individuals are also considered late bloomers as owing to a the harder economic times and “helicopter parenting” by Generation X parents has meant that many delay their entry into adulthood by living at home longer and remaining more reliant on their parents for longer than previous generations. Also having witnessed the mistakes of their parents in terms of career choice and marriage – which has resulted in a high divorce rate and job dissatisfaction – a lot of Generation Y’ers would like to take their time choosing the right career and the right person and getting it right the first time, instead of after several attempts.
All in all, those considered Generation Y individuals have been born within a time of great change, innovation, economic uncertainty and global change. They have the opportunity therefore to make the change and make this a generation to be looked back on as one that marked a change in human history.
Don’t we all wonder how the world will be 25 years from now? I remember when I was born in mid 1980’s there was no internet and even no computers. However the world has completely changed over the last 25 years with technology overtaking the world. Forget about computers now a day we have laptops, I Pod’s, I Pad’s, Kindle and even Robots. Debates about the future have already began with scientist and technology practitioners predicting the world fate after quarter of a century.
But is it all about technology?
Are we only going to debate about how robots will rule over lives in 2050 or how human cloning will be a practical truth? Several Hollywood films have already touched upon this topic and have predicted the future of technology in 2050. On the other hand very few experts have predicted the future of religion, culture, tradition and languages in 2050. India has a very rich history of several religions and culture attached with people’s daily life. However being an Indian and having lived the majority of my life in India I do fear the future of religion, culture and traditions of this great country.
People in India are still very religious and family oriented compared to their western counter parts. However will this trend continue? I have seen several changes in India over the past decade and believe this will be an ongoing trend. Indian languages are renowned across the world and have helped several industries like Translations and have increased the demand in high quality Translation services. However in 2050 will English replace Hindi as the most widely spoken language in India? When we look at the Western world then we wonder about countries like USA and UK and fear about their future. Western culture is regarded as very independent and individualistic. Technology may help the western countries to establish themselves as superpowers but will they lack on the grounds of humanity. Technology can make people from the west very selfish and individualistic by 2050.
Machine driven humans….
Our lives are already very heavily dependent on machines in 2012. Don’t you all have movements where your internet connection goes down or your laptop breaks down and we feel lost! Well that’s how badly we are already depending on technology. It is a universal fact that technology is the reality of the 21st century whether you hate it or you like it but you cannot ignore it. But how technology will shape up in 2050 is an interesting topic which has rarely been explored and people will debate about it for years to come.
Technology has become a big part of modern life and its effect on communication has been remarkable. Now technology forms the basis for most of modern life, from everyday activities such as shopping, travelling and making phone calls to its use in education, medicine and science.
Technology is now used to communicate on all levels. Mobile phones are used by everyone to make phone calls, surf the internet, send emails and even take and share photos. There is video chat, online chat and web chat. The use of technology has radicalised communication.
But has it all been positive? When we relate this to the Translation industry then the same question arises. Has technology benefited the Translation industry? Will a Translation agency go for technology and use machine translation or use human translation. The fact that we can now communicate with others on the other side of the globe means that previous barriers to information sharing and news reporting- to name but a few- are now non-existent. You can now speak to someone on the other side of the world easily and quickly via your mobile device, computer, tablet or normal landline phone. You can send messages instantly either via email, text or instant messenger and have whole conversations with friends and loved ones without even speaking or seeing them.
Also the advent of social networking sites has also radicalised the use of technology to communicate. Many people communicate with friends and family through these sites, sending messages, uploading pictures as well as giving updates on their day to day living experiences.
However we are also finding in society today that despite these advances in technology and the opportunities it offers, it has in fact meant that people are more isolated. With the advent of networking sites, email and texting, some people are now finding it difficult to form “proper” relationships with people and can only relate to individuals in the “virtual” world. Where an individual can communicate with others without leaving the confines of their home, some now find it difficult to relate to individuals on a one to one basis. This advancement in technology has also resulted in tremendous use of internet around the world. Thousands of websites and blogs are created every day. With globalisation these websites need translation and have increased the demand of document translation and other translation services.
So although technology has radicalised communication, it is important that we balance it out by being aware that real communication exists when people interact on a one to one basis in addition to communication via tools and technical mediums which can only enhance the communication process.