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The Birth of the Language of Mobile Phones

The first Nokia mobile phones became available in Hungary in the 1990’s and quickly became quite popular. These were the first mobile phones available on the market in a time when people first began to use mobile phones extensively.

For a period of almost ten years starting in 1995, Multi-Lingua translated the user manuals for Nokia mobile phones and was responsible for many of the expressions that we associate with mobile phones today – such as the translation for emoticons (hangulatjel), roaming (barangolás), and call waiting (hívásvárakoztatás) – and that were later used by other manufacturers as well. This was around the time computer aided translation was put to use, resulting in a great increase in effectiveness.
During this project, Multi-Lingua provided translations for such classic pieces as the Nokia 3110, Nokia 3410, and later the Nokia Communicator 9220. Since Hungarian is lengthier in its expressions than English, one of the most difficult tasks was to find suitable Hungarian equivalents that could be fit on the space available on the mobile phone screens.
Our latest news

Translation tech gets Olympic push

Japan may not be the best in the world when it comes to speaking English, but it remains a pioneer in developing cutting-edge translation technology.
With the 2020 Tokyo Olympics approaching, the nation is once again plotting to surprise the world, this time with high-quality, real-time machine translation systems.
Public and private institutions are working eagerly to develop and upgrade the technology so it can easily be used by tourists, whose numbers are growing sharply

Preparing for Machine Translation: What Machines Can and Can't Do

There is nothing especially novel about machine translation, a technology that reaches back to 1951, when a team from IBM and Georgetown University first demonstrated a computer’s ability to translate short phrases from English into Russian. In 63 years, the machines involved in machine translation have evolved. What a warehouse-sized computer could do in 1951, a laptop can do even better today.