ABSTRACT

Imagine moving to a foreign country where the people speak a different language from your own. While you may be able to get by for a while without learning the language of this country, you will be severely hampered. Asking for and receiving simple information will be a tedious and frustrating task. For example, assume you want to find a coffeehouse with a wireless hotspot. How do you get to the coffeehouse? If you make it there, how do you order an espresso? How do you get a connection to the Internet? More complex tasks are an even bigger challenge. Imagine trying to rent an apartment. What does the landlady expect from you as a tenant? The contract she is requiring you to sign is completely unintelligible to you. Even an interpreter will help only so much. He can translate, but the process is slow and certain issues in the contract lose their precise meaning during the translation. And it would be impossible to rely on an interpreter all of the time.