Autumn Edition 2016

We welcome you to the Autumn 2016 edition of our newsletter. We are pleased to share with you our achievements and our development as a translation vendor.

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UAB Machine Translation Conference

AbroadLink attended the 2nd International T3L Conference: Tradumatics, Translation Technologies and Localisation with the title “Translators and machine translation”, organised by the Translation Faculty at the Autonomous University of Barcelona.

Last October the Autonomous University of Barcelona held the 9th International Conference on Translation which was dedicated to machine translation. In the words of the organisers: "Some say that machine translation is just another translation tool. Others argue that it represents a paradigm shift in the profession. Neither view, however, is expressed without reservations."

Paradigm shift and new opportunities

At AbroadLink we're convinced that the evolution of this technology will enable its use in specific work situations to boost performance and reduce translation costs. In this sense, it represents a paradigm shift and new business opportunities. With this in mind we attended the conference where different research into the field of machine translation was discussed and presented.

Google Translator works

One of the most surprising presentations was given by Giovanni Cerasani, who presented a study on the translation quality of the Google and Systran translation engines (the latter being the longest-running machine translation company). The surprising thing was that Google Translator, which is a free engine (or subject to very low fees for professional use), obtained better results than the Systran system analysed. Based on a series of general texts Google Translator was able to translate up to 60% of sentences correctly.

The problem with the professional use of Google Translator is related to data confidentiality, and it can therefore only be used for non-confidential texts, given that Google Translator uses all of the text introduced into the system to feed its database. This strategy is part of its success, because Google Translator's machine translation is statistical. In statistical systems, the amount of data in the system is directly proportional to the quality of the results obtained. This also explains Giovanni's statements that the results obtained by Google Translator have gradually improved over time.

Post-editors: professional profile with a future

Olga Blasco, who has 20 years of experience in the translation field and who has undertaken leadership roles in large multinational translation companies such as Lionbridge and Welocalize, explained that machine translation has been used for years and will continue to be used in the future for large clients with immense volumes of translation. This means that post-editors, that is, translation professionals who revise, correct and perfect translations generated by a computer system, are a key element in the machine translation production chain. The presentation of this private-sector speaker, which was given more from a business perspective than a linguistic one, was an eye-opener for many of the translators attending the Conference who are wary of post-editing (the technical term used for the revision and correction of machine translation) and who resist assuming this professional profile.

At AbroadLink we would like to congratulate the organisers from the Translation Faculty at the Autonomous University of Barcelona for an interesting and well-organised Conference exploring a present and future issue such as machine translation with interesting presentations of a high research value.