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Open Standards Can Improve Your Translations

January 4th, 2013 | by LTD | No Comments

Session LT-12 at ATA 2012
Presenter: Asa Ahlgren
Reviewed by: Rubén de la Fuente

Open standards are great. They allow to pick the best translator for a job based only on linguistic and subject matter expertise, and not on what particular CAT tool they use. In other words, they provide means to exchange files from one proprietary format to another. Some of the L10N open standards are:

TMX: the exchange format for translation memories, probably the oldest and most supported one.

TBX: the exchange format for term bases.

SRX: the exchange format for segmentation rules. Segmentation rules provide the guidelines for your CAT tool on how to break a text in translation units and might be slightly different from one tool to another. SRX allows to use rules from one tool in another one.

XLIFF: the exchange format for localizeable files. A few years ago, the process of extracting translatable text and protecting code and format information from one file was tool dependent, e.g. You could use Trados to prepare a file for translation, but then you would have to use Trados to translate it.

Unfortunately, commercial tools do not support open standards as much as they should, and you need to look for work-arounds. Okapi Framework, an open-source project initiated by ENLASO, provides a set of localization engineering tools that allow to convert from and to open standards, so that you have an alternative not to turn down a job because you don’t have a particular tool. Double check with your client first, though: not all companies are embracing open standards as much as they should.

Machine Translation in Practice

November 27th, 2012 | by LTD | No Comments

Session LT-10 at ATA 2012
Presenter: Mike Dillinger
Reviewed by: Rubén de la Fuente

Mike Dillinger gave a very thorough introduction to MT, ideal for people who want to get more acquainted with this technology.

First interesting point is that MT and TM are not that different: they both re-use their stored linguistic resources to produce translations, but while TM stops at a sentence level, MT will go one step further and work at phrase level, thereby increasing leverage. Also, like TM, MT needs to be customized upfront with relevant translations in order to perform well.

Read on »

Subtitling Motion Pictures: Techniques and Technologies

November 8th, 2012 | by LTD | 1 Comment

Session LT-5 at ATA 2012
Presenter: Alain Martinossi
Reviewed by: Alexis Rhyner

Watching a subtitled film as a professional linguist is akin to a classically trained pianist listening a symphony, or a world-renowned author reading a novel. The art of transferring the dialogue across languages and cultures is often more intriguing than the plot itself. As a linguist, it seems impossible to watch a foreign film without closely inspecting each and every line of dialogue, waiting on edge to proclaim, “That’s not what she said!” Several questions typically follow this statement, including how could that translation even be considered for that source? Did they not hire a professional? How did that line pass the editing process? Upon delving further into the wonderful world of subtitling via Alain Martinossi’s presentation at the American Translator Association’s 53rd annual conference at San Diego, we see that many constraints impact a translator and subtitler’s work with film. Alain’s engaging presentation offered a rare peek into the world of subtitling from the perspective of a seasoned professional as he provided insight into the skills outside of the linguistic realm, outlined the process from start to finish, and rendered it all in an easy to understand, humorous at times, and informative snapshot into the highly specialized sub-set of our industry.

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Online Questionnaire

April 4th, 2012 | by LTD | No Comments

Have language technologies put language professionals in the driver’s seat? Or do they feel as if they’re just along for the ride? How do today’s language professionals really feel about how language technologies affect their working life? We want to know!

Language technologies such as translation environment tools, terminology management systems, term extractors and machine translation systems play a growing role in the language industry today. They can allow us to achieve things we would never have believed possible or practical, but they can also bring equally unanticipated challenges. In either case, they can affect the ways that we as language professionals perceive our role and our work. To better understand how the effects of language technologies are perceived in a wide range of working environments, we need to encourage a wide variety of language professionals to share their views.

This means that if you are a language professional, we need your help! If you currently use or have ever used language technologies in your work, you are invited to participate in the study Powering the language industry and empowering language professionals: A dual role for language technologies? conducted by Elizabeth Marshman, Assistant Professor at the University of Ottawa’s School of Translation and Interpretation (elizabeth.marshman@uottawa.ca).

To participate, any time until April 15, 2012, simply fill out the anonymous, online questionnaire at http://app.fluidsurveys.com/s/em-powering-translation/langeng/ and tell us about your personal observations and perceptions. By investing a few minutes of your time in sharing your opinions about technologies’ influence, you can help language professionals, clients and employers, professional associations, technology developers and educators to better understand how technologies affect how “in control” you as a language professional feel in various aspects of your work, and some of the main benefits and drawbacks of technology use.

Elizabeth Marshman has been teaching terminology and translation technologies at the School of Translation and Interpretation since 2007. She is currently the Director of the Collection of Electronic Resources in Translation Technologies (CERTT) team. CERTT includes a range of translation technology training resources that are available to the public through the Language Technologies Research Centre’s LinguisTech site.

Language Technology At European Institutions

January 23rd, 2012 | by LTD | No Comments

Last year’s META-FORUM 2011 in Budapest was an international conference on technologies for the multilingual European information society and an official event of the Hungarian EU Presidency. Below you can watch the presentation by Conrad Toft of the European Economic and Social Committee. He talks about language technology and the European institutions. Please add your comments.

Language Technology at European Institutions
author: Conrad Toft, European Economic and Social Committee
published: Jan. 9, 2012, recorded: June 2011 ▼

Link to the presentation slides.

Copyright VideoLectures.Net
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0

While Boston Is Still On Our Minds…

November 14th, 2011 | by mm | No Comments

For those who were at the ATA conference in Boston, there was an entertaining yet thought-provoking session on the possibilities of Do-It-Yourself MT by Rubén Rodríguez de la Fuente and Jose Palomares. For those who could not make it to the presentation, it is out there now… simply visit Rubén’s website, sit back and learn more!