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Jaap van der Meer

Jaap van der Meer

Jaap van der Meer founded TAUS in 2004. He is a language industry pioneer and visionary, who started his first translation company, INK, in The Netherlands in 1980.  Jaap is a regular speaker at conferences and author of many articles about technologies, translation and globalization trends.

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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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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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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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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