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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.

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What I Wish Translators Would Know about MT

November 24th, 2012 | by LTD | 7 Comments

by Rubén de la Fuente

 
I find it very disheartening that every time translators discuss MT is either to insist it can’t replace humans or to laugh at its flaws, instead of exploring its potential (to boost productivity and profitability) and its threats (shift in business and compensation models are taking place now and it will not be in our best interest if we don’t get involved as soon as possible). MT is a game changer and in order to adjust, here are a few things every translator should know:

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Dancing with a Dragon: Conference Session on Voice Recognition

November 17th, 2012 | by LTD | 5 Comments

Session LT-11 at ATA 2012
Presenter: Andrew D. Levine and Thomas Ennis Fennell
Reviewed by: Rubén de la Fuente

 
I have never used speech-to-text tools for translation work, so I was very eager to attend the Dancing with a Dragon session by Andrew Levine and Tom Ennis Fennel. They put up a good show, not only because they share interesting stuff, but also because they are funny. Here are a few highlights from their presentation:

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AMTA Conference San Diego

November 13th, 2012 | by LTD | No Comments

Reviewed by: Rubén de la Fuente

 
I attended the first day of AMTA conference, which brings together MT vendors, LSPs and end-clients. I was pleased to see attendees from ATA conference as well. ATA and AMTA have decided to collocate their conferences in order to build bridges between both communities. It was encouraging to see people taking advantage of the opportunity.

I missed ATA President Caitlin Walsh’s keynote on Literature and Poetry, but I got on time for Luis von Ahn’s on Duolingo. Duolingo seeks to “translate the web for free” by giving language learners sentences to translate. Here’s a TED video explaining Duolingo in more detail. Although it could be seen as a threat for translators, I don’t think it will be: Duolingo will not charge for translation only if content is creative commons-licensed (Wikipedia and the like) or if there’s no required deadline for translations. Most commercial projects will not meet either of these characteristics.

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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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Tools for Quality Assurance and Translation Memory Maintenance

November 7th, 2012 | by LTD | 1 Comment

Session LT-2 at ATA 2012
Presenter: Tuomas Kostiainen
Reviewed by: Katalin Varga

 
There were memorable milestones in translation technology over the past decades. The development of new tools and techniques is happening at an amazing speed, you really have to be watchful to keep up with the progress. Even though there are plenty of tools we can be grateful for, I still believe QA tools have gained a very good position in this race.

I clearly remember when many years ago I struggled with hundreds of translated TTX files, done by several translators, having enormous volume of technical data in them. Time was running so fast and my firm commitment as a project manager to check and fix everything seemed to lack any reality. I was eager to find a solution that could help me as I clearly felt that checking such volume from certain aspects truly exceeds the limit of what a human eye can check. That was the point when I met QA Distiller first. I felt as if I was in an amusement park with a daily pass and I could try out all the rides. And of course, later on I met many other members of the QA family.

When I planned my schedule at ATA 2012 I was absolutely certain that this presentation cannot be missed as I was really curious how Tuomas would summarize the current status of QA tools.

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