Giving technology a human touch
At the age of 27, Nie Lei embodies China's Generation Z, a cohort deeply immersed in cutting-edge technology.
With a master's degree in translation and interpretation from Beihang University in Beijing, he now works at Centific, a global company specializing in digital and technology services, with a focus on language quality management.
While in school, Nie aspired to become a professional translator but eventually shifted toward non-literary text translation language services. In recent years, with the emergence of generative AI, the translation industry has undergone significant changes, sparking debates about the potential replacement of human translators by AI.
However, Nie maintains a positive outlook on this matter. "I believe that demanding and high-standard clients will always choose high-level, high-quality translators to provide translation services," he said. "AI may serve as a valuable tool, but it can never replace humans."
Nie emphasizes that technology should only be viewed as an aid, not as a replacement, and that translators should embrace new technologies and use them to improve their own skills.
"People are always the focal point of this world. Whether it's the translation tools I use in my work or the technological developments in relevant fields, their ultimate purpose is to serve humanity, reduce the burden on people's work, and enhance their efficiency," he said.
Through his translation work, Nie has found profound joy and a sense of removal from day-to-day life. "When I'm translating, I detach myself from the mundane realities and employ my industry knowledge, language skills, and cultural literacy to adapt the text more effectively to the market and the target readers," says Nie.
As globalization continues, language services play an increasingly vital role in facilitating dialogue, understanding, and cooperation between nations, driving global development forward. "At present, China's translation industry is continually going toward higher standards, superior quality, and more advanced technology," Nie said. "I believe that the future of this industry holds vast potential."
In order to nurture future talent in the translation industry and promote translation literacy, Nie dedicates his free time to imparting wisdom and practical knowledge to aspiring translation students. "I enjoy sharing the latest developments in the translation industry and the insights and experiences I've gained in my actual work with the younger students. This information is valuable for them to establish appropriate career expectations and start career planning," he noted.
Nie hopes that more outstanding young Chinese students will join the translation industry, embrace the changes in the industry and the outside world, and contribute their youthful vigor to China's global outreach efforts while enabling the world to better understand China.
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