Konica Minolta Supports Ukrainian Refugees in Japan with its KOTOBAL Multilingual Translation System for Local Governments and Public Agencies
Ukrainian Added to the Supported Languages
April 20, 2022
Tokyo (April 20, 2022) – Konica Minolta, Inc. (Konica Minolta) has added Ukrainian to the languages supported by machine translation through the KOTOBAL multilingual translation system for local governments and public agencies.
In 2020, Konica Minolta launched KOTOBAL, an AI-based tablet-type multilingual translation system that incorporates a dictionary of government terms to help staff at public agencies and local governments in Japan communicate with foreigners. The KOTOBAL system has since been introduced by many government offices. Ukrainian was newly added to the languages supported by the KOTOBAL machine translation system in response to requests from the Nagoya Municipal Government and other entities involved in the acceptance of Ukrainian refugees. Konica Minolta will also offer a Ukrainian-Japanese translation service through MELON, a multilingual communication assistance service the company offers to medical institutions.
KOTOBAL Multilingual Translation System for Local Governments and Public Agencies
KOTOBAL is a multilingual translation system incorporating a dictionary of technical terms used by public agencies and local governments. This system allows the combined use of machine translation and video interpretation by humans, thus ensuring optimal communications in a wide variety of settings. While the system is mainly used by staff at local governments and educational institutions in many parts of Japan, it has also been installed in accommodation facilities for Covid-19 patients where there is a need to communicate in minor languages.
Thirty-one languages supported by KOTOBAL
Ukrainian, English, Chinese (simplified and traditional), Korean, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Vietnamese, Hindi, Russian, Thai, French, Tagalog, Nepali, Indonesian, German, Italian, Malay, Burmese, Khmer, Mongolian, Arabic, Urdu, Dutch, Sinhalese, Danish, Turkish, Hungarian, Polish, Portuguese, Lao, Japanese (speech-to-text translation, sign language, plain Japanese)
Support to Ukrainian Refugees Offered in Nagoya City Using KOTOBAL
Consultation service (The Russian language has been newly added to the translation service via a tablet PC.)
The Nagoya International Center frequently provides information on living in Nagoya and consultation services to refugees and foreign residents.
To support Ukrainian refugees, the Center started a Russian-Japanese translation service via a tablet PC. (Introduction of Ukrainian-Japanese machine translation is currently under consideration.)
(From the website of the Nagoya Municipal Government dated April 6, 2022)
The above text is taken from the website of the Nagoya Municipal Government posted before the start of the Ukrainian-Japanese translation service. Upon request from the Nagoya Municipal Government and other entities, Konica Minolta began preparing to add Ukrainian to the languages supported by the KOTOBAL machine translation system, and enabled the government to start providing the Ukrainian-Japanese translation service on April 7, 2022.
The new service has made it possible to communicate with Ukrainian refugees in their mother tongue, instead of Russian which was used before.
The Konica Minolta Group expresses deep condolences to the people who have lost loved ones, friends and their homes in the conflicts in Ukraine. The Group will continue to support and respond to the people’s sufferings in the humanitarian crisis.