Seoul Metro expands real-time translation at subway stations


Seoul Metro has expanded real-time translation services for overseas travellers to 11 stations in Seoul. - AFP

SEOUL: Seoul Metro, one of two major operators of the Seoul Subway, has expanded real-time translation services for overseas travellers to 11 stations in Seoul to improve convenience for foreigners.

Artificial intelligence (AI)-based translations, which allow foreign travellers and station staff to communicate in their respective languages while facing each other through a transparent OLED screen, was unveiled at Myeong-dong Station on Subway Line No. 4 in December 2023 for a trial run.

After the trial, Seoul Metro began to offer real-time translation services at 10 more stations starting in late February: Jongno 5-ga Station on Line No. 1, City Hall Station, Hongik University Station, Euljiro 1-ga Station and Gangnam Station on Line No. 2, Gyeongbokgung Station on Line No. 3, Gwanghwamun Station, Gimpo International Airport Station on Line No. 5 and Itaewon Station and Gongdeok Station on Line No. 6.

Translation services are available in 13 languages, including English, Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Spanish, German, Arab and more.

In addition to the translation service, travellers can also plan their route, search destinations and see information on the storage system, subway fees, transfers and travel time via the transparent OLED screen.

“Hoping to provide more accessible, comfortable subway and travel experience to tourists from across the globe, Seoul Metro will make the most out of AI technology to enhance tourists’ convenience,” a Seoul Metro official said in a press statement on March 14. - The Korea Herald/ANN

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