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The translation industry is growing, but not fast enough! The amount of content published every day vastly exceeds the amount that can be translated by the few hundred thousand translators in today’s workforce. Machine translation seems to be a part of the solution, yet the world is still waiting for this technology to mature. How do we scale up the translation industry’s capacity for the massive potential opportunity? As part of the TAUS Annual Conference 2015, TAUS invited industry leaders from both the translation buyer and vendor side to talk about what it will take for the industry to innovate. The...
Tagged in: innovation technology
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During a previous interview with Tilde, back in November 2014, we discovered how the Baltic company quietly yet emphatically succeeded in conquering a prominent position on the language technology market with its linguistic tools and with Tilde MT, a machine translation service specifically developed for smaller, complex languages like the Baltic, Scandinavian, and Central and Eastern European languages. Now Tilde is rising above expectations one more time with the Translate 2015 project aimed at supporting the 2015 EU Presidency with a variety of ad hoc applications. In the spotlight After its independence in 1990, Latvia has undertaken a long - but...
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Today, October 1 2014, we launch a new magazine: TAUS Review of language business & technology. The language and translation industry is a growing sector, but it is not getting a lot of recognition for its crucial role in global business and governance. We start this magazine for four reasons: 1. Raise awareness Most of the time we all take language for granted. Everyone speaks one, or sometimes two or even more. But really, it is complicated, cumbersome and curious how words connect with meanings and how these meanings cross borders and keep changing. It takes skills to craft the right...
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A few years ago I heard Adam Greenfield deliver the keynote at Localization World, when he talked about ubiquitous computing. I particularly remember his remark referring to a future when lampposts would have IP addresses, which would help us to find restaurants in an unfamiliar city. We can find restaurants pretty easily now with the aid of our smart phones, even without the internet-enabled lampposts. But it’s true that more and more things are connected. According to Cisco, the number of internet connected devices reached 8.7 billion in 2012. I’ve been thinking quite a lot about the Internet of Things (IoT)...
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I am a translator and interpreter and I am worried about how we fit in the “translation industry” of the future.  Many freelancers have lost sight of the skills we need to update to remain relevant and productive in the 21st Century. In the virtual instant village of the 21st century, the need for multilingual content is expanding at exponential rates and yet, many translators are finding it progressively difficult to earn a decent living. A large number feel underappreciated by society at large and by the client in particular. Translators have lost sight of the changes occurred in the “means...
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I agree with Lane’s skepticism about technology’s potential for fully replacing English as an inter-language in the near term. However, I also agree with Nicholas’s assertions that the relative importance of English in the world at large is diminishing and will continue to do so.  The digital age is empowering many mother-tongue language groups beyond English, and specifically, “long tail languages.” These are languages that traditionally have been seen as economically unimportant when viewed in isolation, but that when added together, have more spending power than any single major language in the world. Here are four ways that this phenomenon will...
Tagged in: technology
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The announcement in December of the sale of Systran – the grandmother of all MT – to CSLI Co. Ltd. in Korea sent a small shock wave through the translation technology sector. Is Systran giving up after some forty years of chasing the holy grail of fully automatic high quality translation? Or is this the best deal that one could expect? The question also creeps up: is there a market for MT, really? On the one hand we see MT everywhere, mostly as a free service or utility on web sites and in apps, soon also in the Google Glass and...
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News reports and pundit commentary from the latest Consumer Electronics Show recently held in Las Vegas suggest that we are entering a new era of “conversational” devices. This has largely been driven by the rapid improvement in speech recognition, dragooned into handling the interface problem raised by the particular form factor of smartphones – a small, typing-unfriendly screen constantly connected to the cloud. But it also includes augmented reality type services for your digital glasses and other variants of digital madness. Does this conversational moment pose a threat to - or open up opportunities for - the translation automation agenda? When technologists...
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