Turkish Airlines launches device to translate IsiZulu and Afrikaans at airports

SmartMic, the translator device launched at Turkish airports. Picture: Supplied

SmartMic, the translator device launched at Turkish airports. Picture: Supplied

Published Feb 22, 2024


Turkish Airlines has announced the launch of a translating device, SmartMic, across its airports for non-English speaking travellers.

According to the airline, Afrikaans and IsiZulu are some of the languages that will be translated on the device.

“In a move to improve communication for non-English-speaking passengers, a new language translation device, called SmartMic, has been introduced by Turkish Airlines at airports across Türkiye,” said the airline.

Turkish Airlines CEO Bilal Ekşi said the airline was serious about connecting the world and making travel accessible to everyone.

“We are excited to introduce this innovative SmartMic device, which allows our passengers to speak to our staff in their own language when transiting through Türkiye.

“We want to ensure our passengers have a smooth, seamless travel experience, whatever their nationality, and hope the SmartMic devices make their journey with Turkish Airlines even more enjoyable,” said Ekşi.

The airline said SmartMic was equipped with advanced language translation capabilities supporting 52 languages and 72 accents, including Afrikaans and IsiZulu, in order to provide passengers with a seamless communication experience.

“Users can speak into the device in their native language, and the SmartMic translates their words into the staff member’s language. A seven-inch screen on both sides of the device displays the real-time conversation, ensuring quick and effective information exchange,” said Turkish Airlines.

The airline said that while the introduction of 100 SmartMic devices at Istanbul’s main hub and various regional airports in Adana, Ankara, Antalya, Bodrum, Dalaman and Izmir was aimed at enhancing the passengers’ experience, plans were under way to extend the availability of SmartMic devices to the UK, reflecting a broader commitment to improving communication for travellers.