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>Human translators are so expensive today that they are only used in situations where the translation has to be correct -- diplomacy, courtrooms, books, etc.

Professional translators and trained interpreters yes.

But thousands of people work solely (or assume the role periodically) as interpreters and translators for many more situations, mainly revolving around business.

Now, signing a business deal will still involve translator and a trained lawyer, but those other everyday cases, including showing a western partner around the Chinese offices, could switch to machine translation.

Or you know...many of the middle class Chinese that work in the offices that already speak English. Honestly, when I've walked into a Chinese office I've never had the "noone speaks English" problem, while the big boss who doesn't speak English would prefer to have one of the younger guy/gals around anyways as a sign of status.

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