NTT West unit offers interpretation app

Kyodo

A call center run by Nippon Telegraph and Telephone West Corp. is offering interpretation services for foreign residents through a smartphone app.

NTT Marketing Act, based in Osaka, launched the service on Aug. 1 in five languages — English, Chinese, Korean, Spanish and Portuguese.

The app for Android phones is designed to be used to facilitate procedures at government offices or hospitals for those who do not speak Japanese, the company said.

The app allows users to speak with the call center staff in their native language so their intentions can be passed onto the other parties concerned in Japanese, the company said.

The service, available from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., costs ¥1,050 for 10 minutes, including tax, but is being halved until the end of next March.