Breaking the language barrier: Edinburgh Airport introduces device to help communicate with international passengers

A device that enables speech to be translated into 74 languages has been introduced at the security area at Edinburgh Airport to help communicate with international passengers.

Pocketalk allows staff and passengers to speak into it before the translation is played through a speaker or displayed on screen for the other to read and understand.

Edinburgh Airport has introduced Pocketalk – a device that enables speech to be translated into 74 languages. Initially introduced in the airport’s security area, it will now be rolled out to other staff who interact with passengers on a daily basis.

The aim is to make the security process easier by breaking down language barriers, helping both passengers and staff explain and understand each other.

Pocketalk will be available to staff every day and will complement those native speakers on the security teams who currently help to translate. It’s also being rolled out to other passenger-facing teams across the terminal.

“We’re an international airport in a city and country known for its diversity, its inclusiveness and its welcoming nature, and we want to make passengers feel at home at the airport,” says Gordon Dewar, Chief Executive, Edinburgh Airport. “The security process is one of the most important as we need to ensure the safety of all passengers and staff, so it’s vital that we have the ability to clearly explain the process and help people understand so we can make that process as positive as possible. We’re already lucky to have native speakers within our teams – Pocketalk will enhance our ability to talk to those people who come from all over the world to visit Edinburgh and Scotland.”

Pocketalk will be available to staff every day and will complement those native speakers on the security teams who currently help to translate. It’s also being rolled out to other passenger-facing teams across the terminal.

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