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in Events
A summary of the TAUS DQF Manufacturing Industries Workshop hosted by John Deere   There are a few things that really make a man's heart beat faster. One of those is a 250 horsepower 6R tractor produced by John Deere. As I walk through the entrance gate of the flagship factory of the manufacturing giant in Mannheim (Germany), the lyrics of Rodney Atkins' Friends with Tractors come to mind ("I got everything I need 'cause I got friends with tractors"). Founded in 1921 and spread over more than 40ha, the factory produces a new tractor every 3 minutes. The place, just...
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On March 22-24 (2017), fifty people came together in a former clandestine church in Amsterdam to break their heads on the question how the translation industry will have changed in 2022. The story that came out can be read as an ordinary battle between man and machine, with a victory for the latter. But at a deeper layer, there is a fascinating intrigue with many threads about game-changing technologies and trends and an outcome that is perplexing even for all of us who think that they are behind the wheel today. Be careful what you wish for. The translation companies of...
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This article is the first in a series we'll be posting, exploring the topic of machine translation. Powering the SmartCAT ecosystem with flexible third-party integration capabilities, we’re preparing to enter the Convergence era, in line with the insightful outlook* Jaap van der Meer presented on TAUS in 2013. Not just evolve with the industry but take the lead in this process, that’s what we’re up to. *Read Jaap’s article on TAUS here.   In November last year, Google and Microsoft announced they have updated their translation engines with Neural Machine Translation (NMT) systems. Both companies celebrated a significant boost in the quality...
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TAUS has kindly requested a blog series on current topics in automatic translation. As an opening salvo, here’s a sneak preview of the forthcoming TAUS report on speech-to-speech translation (S2ST). The report, co-authored by Alex Waibel, Andrew Joscelyne, and myself, will attempt a broad view of the field’s past, present, and future. For this appetizer, though, we’ll restrict our view to a brief snapshot – a selfie, if you like – of selected technical accomplishment at the current state of the art. (The report will include interviews with several additional participants.) Google Translate mobile app: Speed: Barring network delays, speech recognition...
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Get a text. Write the same thing in a different language. Done. If only... Translation is a simple task that evolved into a monstrous process - dozens of roles, hundreds of steps and workflows, thousands and thousands of people. Why does it get so complicated? Simply put - four main structural flaws compromise everything. 1) The fragmentation of knowledge and abilities is a common denominator. While translation is a particular skill, and many people can get around in several languages, few are translators to the fullest extent of the word. Translators know two or more languages but not necessarily how to...
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In my quest to better understand the opportunities and challenges of the African translation industry, I recently traveled from West to East Africa. Because the global demand for African language translations continues to increase, I felt it was important to assess and demystify this market. It’s clear that the localization industry is alive and vibrant in Africa. Linguists are mainly involved in diplomatic, governmental, religious, tourism and humanitarian work. Some commercial work is also done for a variety of industries such as global consulting, mining, financial and technology, among others. The most common translation requests in Africa are for English, Arabic,...
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Jean Gachot, the major business developer in the career of Systran, has died. Jean Gachot, who acquired Systran and widely developed their machine translation system, passed away on February 17 at the age of 96, missing the company’s 50th anniversary by just one year. The remarkable history of Systran can be attributed to a large extent to Mr. Gachot, who developed a passion for machine translation in the 80s of the last century. At this time he met Peter Toma, the legendary inventor of one of the first tested and demonstrated commercial MT engines, and, in 1985, struck a deal that...
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On 11 November, Daimler hosted an Automotive Translation Roundtable organized by TAUS and berns language consulting. Translation managers from eight large automotive and three large IT companies participated in the one day meeting. Goals for the day were to get the pulse of the translation sector and learn from each other. What do we have in common? Where do we differ? It comes down to this: we are not so different. And what’s more: we must work together across the translation sector to create a common ecosystem.    We Are All In This Together The main takeaway of the Automotive Roundtable...
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In April 2016, TAUS returned  to China after a couple of years absence. Being back in Beijing opened new perspectives on translation in China that many of us had perhaps not expected. China typically copies what others have already built and done before them. Fast trains are modeled to the TGV in France, electric cars are inspired by Tesla, and fashion in China closely follows the trends around the world. We also discovered that most language service providers in China are not yet using Translation Memory (TM) software and it was implied that further developments cannot be made until they are...
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What makes a good conference? If you ask me, the answer is: purpose, people and program. As simple as that. Let’s start with ‘purpose’: you have to have a good reason to make people travel from all over the world to a single location and have them spend a few days of their precious time together. As Eric Liu, General Manager of Alibaba Language Services, said in his keynote at the TAUS Annual Conference in Portland last week: it all starts with a mission - “Preparing for a future that is without language barriers”. The same goes for TAUS and the...
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The amount of time and money you spend on quality management easily constitutes 20% of the total translation time and costs. A large part of this percentage consists of translation review (or quality review). You can reduce translation review time by streamlining the review process. In this post, we’ve listed 5 ways to do this.   1. Embrace a dynamic approach Implement a translation management system in which different content profiles automatically go through different translation or review cycles and with different error tolerance thresholds. When profiling content you need to take into consideration the expected quality (good enough vs. high...
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During the TAUS Annual Conference 2016 in October, Eric Bailey, Group Engineering Manager for the Global Service and Experiences team within Office at Microsoft, will host the session 'To Share Or Not To Share'? This blog post is written in preparation for this session and as background for our pre-conference survey.   CLICK HERE TO FILL IN THE SURVEY   In the general scheme of things, the localization industry is relatively small, the challenges associated with the process of localization are well understood and consistent, regardless of which companies are involved. While there are a couple of possible exceptions, most of us...
Tagged in: sharing standards
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Nowadays, in one way or another, machine translation (MT) is part of our everyday lives. Most likely Google made that happen, about a decade ago, by launching Google Translate, a free instant online general-purpose translator allowing users to translate any text (words, phrases, documents, web pages) in different language directions. Although the translations of general-purpose MT systems (as opposed to more specialized, domain-specific ones) may not always be of good quality (especially when morphologically rich languages or ideographic ones are involved), users still have the opportunity to get (for free) the gist of a text or a web page written in...
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In the past few years, the translation industry has burst with new tools, platforms, and solutions. In fact, almost every week we hear of new tools or solutions that promise to improve translations in many ways. We’ve seen that translation and, in particular, translation technology have become a very interesting and dynamic sector for innovators from both inside and outside the industry. Of course, there is a strong demand for translations of any kind. Globalization of trade, social media, news and politics expose not only businesses but also consumers, governments, and NGOs to audiences speaking in many different tongues and...
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During the TAUS Annual Conference 2016 in October, panelists will discuss "How to deliver high-quality translations for long-tail languages". This blog post is written in preparation for this session and as background for our pre-conference survey (see link below).    CLICK HERE TO FILL IN THE SURVEY   When Nelson Mandela was asked ‘why he spoke the politically charged language Afrikaans with the South African Apartheid government during negotiations’, he answered: “If you talk to a man in the language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” Mandela’s words well...
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The last significant breakthrough in the technology of statistical machine translation (SMT) was in 2005. That year, David Chiang published his famous paper on hierarchical translation models that allowed to significantly improve the quality of statistical MT between distant languages. Nowadays we are standing on the verge of an even more exciting moment in MT history: deep learning (DL) is taking MT towards much higher accuracy and finally brings human-like semantics to the translation process. In general terms, DL is a family of machine learning algorithms that use multilayer artificial neural networks to efficiently learn representation of high-level features from noisy...
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Neural Machine Translation (NMT) systems have achieved impressive results in many Machine Translation (MT) tasks in the past couple of years. This is mainly due to the fact that Neural Networks can solve non-linear functions, making NMT perfect for mimicking the linguistic rules followed by the human brain. However, creating machines that can adequately replicate the immensely complicated and nuanced translation styles of a professional translator is still a far cry in the field of translation technology. At KantanLabs, we are researching advanced Hybrid MT systems, which will incorporate the best of both worlds – the tried and tested traditional Statistical...
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Data entered the field of machine translation in the late eighties and early nineties when researchers at IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center reported successes with their statistical approach to machine translation. Until that time machine translation worked more or less the same way as human translators with grammars, dictionaries and transfer rules as the main tools. The syntactic and rule-based Machine Translation (MT) engines appealed much more to the imagination of linguistically trained translators, while the new pure data-driven MT engines with probabilistic models turned translation technology more into an alien threat for many translators. Not only because the quality...
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We are one step closer to the TAUS Game Changers Innovation Contest, taking place at the TAUS Annual Conference on October 24 and 25 in Portland, OR. We’ve received many interesting proposals and together with the Program Committee we’ve come to a final selection of twenty to present next month. Ten “invader” innovators and ten “insider” innovators will take the stage for a six minute presentation of their innovative technology or development. “Insiders” are companies that are rooted in the translation industry and usually present an incremental type of innovation where as “invaders” are typically companies that come from outside the...
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in Innovation
During the TAUS Annual Conference 2016 in October, Jessica Roland, Director Strategic Accounts at SDL, will host the session 'How Cloud Are You'? This blogpost is written in preparation for this session and as background for our pre-conference survey (see link below).  CLICK HERE TO FILL IN THE SURVEY   We have all heard about the Cloud revolution. It has mostly been viewed from an infrastructure perspective, with a lot of discussion on what constitutes public, private and hybrid clouds. The pros and cons of moving to a cloud-based infrastructure have also been widely explored. Many companies in the TAUS Community  have...
Tagged in: cloud saas
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For decades, speech-to-speech (S2S) translation technologies have been the dream of not only the translation veteran, but also your everyday traveler, business guru and medical expert. The Universal Translator used in Star Trek and the Babel Fish from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy are ideals and may have set the standard for many people. However, have we actually come close? And if not, do we even care? The upcoming TAUS S2S Translation Technology report will delve deeper into the past, present and future of S2S translation technology. Where did it all begin and does the progress we have made allow...
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It was Renato (Beninatto) who reminded me, in the ‘Future’ panel discussion in Dublin, that only eleven years ago (when the TAUS think tank was founded) nobody - in his right mind - would think about using machine translation (MT) technology on any job anywhere. And now? Now MT is everywhere. Insiders say that everyday computers translate 200 Billion words. That is 100 times more than the output of all human translators together. MT is everywhere and always there, except … well, except the professionals seem to have their doubts. That makes me think that the state of the industry could...
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A service-learning project Fourth-year students from a Localization course in the Translation and Interpreting degree at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Spain) participated in a service-learning project that involved localizing the TAUS website from English to Spanish. The students translated and reviewed up to 20,000 words on the website as a real assignment. The project started with an online meeting between the TAUS localization coordinator and the class to give students an overview of TAUS and the localization project. It was the first time that students had had an online meeting with a “client”. In this project, they learned about...
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When I attended translation courses, I was assigned to write a commentary on George F. Will’s column Reading, Writing and Rationality on the Newsweek issue ofMarch 17, 1986. Even then, with no Internet and television as the dominant media, students were urged to read. That day, green activists were giving a demonstration of solar energy applications in a public park near the school, and our professor opened his lesson with a witty comment about the experiment he had witnessed during his lunch break. He said he would never be in favor of solar energy because he liked well-cooked eggs... The history...
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Content creation and localization as a challenge Startups are organizations designed to search for a “Big Idea” and to monetize it. They constantly reinvent themselves and explore innovative business models that disrupt existing markets. They learn by trial and error. Incremental growth is of paramount importance to them and speed is essential to beat the competition and to establish their businesses. To grow fast, startups need to demonstrate the ability to create large volumes of content with short turnaround times and shelf life. One big challenge is that most content produced by startups is by nature unconventional. As a result, new...
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Since its launch in 2007, Google Translate has brought machine translation to the masses, making it free, quick and easy, and therefore significantly contributing to the demolition of the language barriers. Now in its 10th year of existence, Google Translate is used by some 500 million people to translate 100 billion words every day. Just to give you an idea of how huge this volume is: The Oxford English Dictionary contains over 2 billion words. And, if we add to Google Translate’s volume also the volumes machine-translated by Microsoft, Baidu, Yandex and all the other free, corporate and governmental machine translation...
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The term ‘creative content’ is used a lot but what does it really mean? And, as a global company, how do you handle creative content translation? How does the translation process differ from regular translation? What type of translator do you use? How does the terminology differ? Is the creative content industry specific? Let's explore these questions in more detail.   The Content For starters, I think we can define creative content as content that needs to be translated creatively. But why, you might ask? Well, if we translate faithfully to the original source language, it might sound unnatural and be...
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Within translation/localization we’re all looking to ensure that the quality of the deliverable meets the expectation, in whatever way those two things are defined. Some people may believe achieving that quality is a factor that is inherent in actually doing the work, and builds around the processes. Other people may, however, think of quality as something that can be tested and evaluated after the work is done. There is a great deal of discussion about this in our industry right now. Some people, on the other hand, may not consider quality as something that should be planned, or measured in terms of...
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Globalization and new technology have not left the translation services of the EU institutions untouched. Successive enlargements have more than doubled not only the number of member states but also the number of official languages. The extension and deepening of the European integration have led to more and more different text types being produced and to an ever-increasing translation demand. At the same time, in-house translation staff per language is progressively being reduced. The pressure to provide more, faster and with fewer resources has led to a need to constantly re-think how we carry out the translation work. We all know...
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Can translation service providers and technology providers meet translation buyers’ requests? How can we evaluate the quality of both source and target within the translation process? How do we measure localization processes? These are just few of the questions that passed the review during the roundtable hosted by TAUS in Barcelona on May 12, 2016. Integration Is Key “There is no more interesting industry than the translation industry nowadays.” These were the opening words of Jaap van der Meer (TAUS Director), who reminded us that we are living the Convergence Era, when translation is a full-fledged utility, available to everyone on...
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