Chinese are becoming increasingly dependent on translation tools that run online as well as on mobile devices, according to a report conducted by an online translation service provider.
Some 73.7 percent of Chinese Internet users surveyed for the report said they use online translation tools.
Language translation ranked fourth on the list of what people do online, after shopping, searching, and social networking, according to the research by fanyi.youdao.com (Youdao), the country’s biggest online multilingual translation service provider.
Meanwhile, with the rise of mobile Internet and smartphones, more Chinese people are sourcing translation on their mobile devices. Between September 2011 and September 2012, translation requests to Youdao’s mobile app doubled, while those online grew by a relatively slight 30 percent, according to the report.
People use the tools mostly to translate words and basic sentences for greetings, chitchat and introductions, the report showed. They are more inclined to put words or phrases into English via the mobile app for communication, while putting content of English articles into the native language through online services.
However, nearly 20 percent of respondents to the survey said they are still willing to pay for human translation services, since current automated translation technologies are far from satisfying their needs.
China’s Internet population has ballooned over the past five years to become the world’s largest at 538 million. The country is also the world’s biggest computer and smartphone market.