By 2000, most translators will be working in partnership with computers, in a virtual team, in a virtual office and for customers they have never met face to face, David Brooks, senior director of Microsoft Corp., said Oct. 22 at the International Communication Forum in Tokyo.The two-day forum, hosted by the Japan Translation Federation and featuring guest speakers and displays on translation software and other technologies, is being held to discuss the future of translation and international communication.”Virtual reality is already real,” Brooks said, citing the existence of Web sites, virtual pets and even “virtual stars.” He predicted that computer technologies will have a radical impact on the translation industry. He also predicted that the demand for the localization of software and content will explode in the near future, further dwarfing the demand for traditional translation services.

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