Espoo is testing a translation application aimed at improving service quality

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2021-01-18 15:28

The City of Espoo has launched an experiment to test a digital application that translates written text and interprets speech between two languages. The language pairs include Finnish–English and Finnish–Russian. 

The application is first being tested by the Employment Services of the City of Espoo. The initial experiences have been positive. The application translates and interprets from Finnish into English and from English into Finnish. The experiment will continue with other language pairs. 

The experiment started in June 2020 and continues until March 2021 within the employment and customer services of the City of Espoo. The city invites people to participate in the experiment. Participants should speak one of the languages tested in the experiment as their mother tongue and use Espoo’s employment services or customer services during the winter. 

Good service regardless of language skills

“The objective of the City of Espoo is to develop customer services in such a way that they are easily accessible regardless of the client’s language skills,” says Tuula Antola, Director of Economic Development.  

“Our goal in Espoo is to deploy a translation and interpretation application that translates in real time and can be used on all smart devices as well as a computer. The application would save both our clients’ and employees’ time and improve interaction in service situations. In the future, we will need a service that is available to both staff and clients in face-to-face and remote encounters,” says Kirsi Remes, Customer Service Director.  

The City of Espoo is conducting the experiment together with Gofore Oy and Microsoft Oy. The lessons learned from the experiment will be utilised in future translation and interpretation solutions of the City of Espoo. 

The experiment is part of the Digital Agenda of the City of Espoo that aims at the development of the city’s services using digital solutions and new technologies.  

Further information

  • Development Manager Valia Wistuba, City as a Service Development, City of Espoo, tel. 043 825 2905, valia.wistuba@espoo.fi  
  • Project Director Marke Kaukonen, 050 553 2495, marke.kaukonen@espoo.fi