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8.2 (Premium Edition)
is a reason why I haven't written about memoQ for a while. memoQ
is a very powerful and highly capable translation environment tool, but
there have been a number of miscalculations in its product packaging,
one in particular, that caused a bit of frustration among some users.
It frustrated me because of Kilgray's unwillingness to discuss this
openly with me.
now, after not having written about versions 8.0 and 8.1, I decided
this was a good time to speak about 8.2 with Gergely Vándor, memoQ's
Product Designer Team Leader.
. . you can find the rest of this lengthy article about memoQ and about
translation technology in general in the premium edition. If you'd like
to read more, an annual subscription to the premium edition costs just
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about the machine translation efforts of the World Intellectual
Property Organization (WIPO). I've been impressed with what they do,
not primarily because of the quality of their translations but because
of their very inquisitive and creative approach to MT. The feature that
I talked about in the past was a beta version of their statistical
machine translation engine, which not only presented a translation of a
given text but also dozens of variants of any fragment of that text
that would show up when you highlighted said fragments.
version of this has now been released
as an official product,
but it is now based on neural machine translation. You can choose
between the different variants by simply highlighting the respective
part in the target field. There is still a bug in the system's
capitalization rules for the variants, and unfortunately the rest of
the segment doesn't change when one subsegment is changed (as it would
in DeepL), but once again the idea is really cool. It points to
a process that might turn out to be very promising for translators who
could choose from many variants of fragments while they translate. In
reality, however, this might have to wait awhile since there is no API
at this point, so it's not possible to integrate this right into a
translation environment tool.
is no clear language on the ownership of the data once it's contributed
or edited on the website. I asked Bruno Pouliquen of the WIPO team, and
this was his response:
make it short: we are not using the post-editions at all. This is only
a facility offered for users, not a way to gather "crowd sourcing
the last Tool Box Journal, I mentioned Trados Studio as
the only tool that offers easy access to Google Translate's
neural and statistical machine translation engines, something that can
be really useful for some language combinations and depending on how
you use MT (if at all).
latest beta version of OmegaT (4.1.2) also offers super-easy
(in the last official version of OmegaT, things were rather
difficult to set up). In the beta version, all you need to do is select
Options> Preferences> Machine Translation>
Google Translate> Configure and then select "Premium Edition" if
you want to use the neural engine, or unselect that option if you
prefer the statistical engine.
(see elsewhere in this Tool Box Journal) also seems to offer
that option, but it apparently does not work (at least not in my
attempts: I received only neural responses, no matter what I checked).
my conversation with Kilgray for the memoQ article in this
edition, there was simply no awareness on Kilgray's side that this
would be a helpful feature and -- since it's very easy to implement --
should be supported. This is a good example of where we as translators
and technology users need to have a strong voice and vigorously ask for
tool vendors, PLEASE implement a switch between the neural and
statistical machine translation engines in your Google Translate
The My SDL Trados app, at your
My SDL Trados is
a new, free companion app that allows you to stay in touch with the
latest SDL Trados news, education and professional development
resources on your mobile phone or tablet.
The Tech-Savvy Interpreter: Invasion of the Interpreting Gizmos (Column
by Barry Slaughter Olsen)
Race to Produce the First Working In-Ear Translator
may not have realized it, but a race is on in the tech sector, and it
appears that Google has just broken away from the pack. The race? To
produce the first set of actually usable earphones or earbuds that can
translate (not interpret, more on this distinction in a minute)
conversations across languages in "real time."
can thank Gene Rodenberry's original TV series Star Trek and
Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy for
popularizing the idea of a gizmo -- the universal translator -- or a
leech-like creature (eww...) that feeds off brainwaves -- the Babelfish
-- being used to cross the language barrier. The two were no more than
storytelling conventions that made it possible for any alien species to
have its own rich and complex language and culture but still be able to
communicate with Captain Kirk and other characters quickly and
efficiently -- in the language of the viewer, of course -- so as not to
bore them with too many pesky subtitles or some other bilingual
character providing a consecutive "translation."
whole concept of a machine doing our job has been scoffed at for years
by professional interpreters, and with good reason. Yet, there is
something terribly attractive about being able to put something in your
ear and simply listen in your language to what someone is saying to you
in another. In essence, this is what conference interpreters, with the
help of technology, have been doing since the Nuremberg Trials. The
difference now is that the technology not only delivers the
interpretation but is beginning to be able to produce it as well,
circumventing the human interpreter altogether. With the onslaught of
these in-ear devices, we interpreters now face the same questions that
our translator colleagues have been grappling with since the advent of
am not saying that these devices are here to replace us. They are not,
nor can they...yet (never say never). This is where I would like to
make a clear distinction. The tech world that is producing them always
refers to these gadgets as "translators" rather than "interpreters." I
say we let them. Not one of these new devices is capable of truly
interpreting what a human being says. They are, in effect,
speech-to-speech machine translators with speech recognition and speech
synthesis tacked on either end. No human is involved in evaluating the
social, cultural or other contextual elements that can impact
understanding. Thus, interpreting the original intended
meaning is left to the human listener.
I speak to translators and interpreters about technology, I often
divide technology's effects into two categories -- replacement and
expansion. That is, technology can either replace us or expand our
opportunities. In the case of these new mobile speech-to-speech
translation devices, I see them expanding rudimentary communication
across languages, the kind that professional interpreters likely
wouldn't be hired to interpret for in the first place.
is difficult to cut through all the hype around these in-ear
translators since the companies' promotional materials are all
effusively positive, using phrases like "the world's first translating
earphones" or "it all happens simultaneously without interruption." The
tech and general media only compound this self-praise from the
companies with headlines like "Google's Pixel Buds translation will
change the world." Interestingly, many of the promotional videos for
these products have an
English-speaking-boy-meets-non-English-speaking-girl plot that can only
be resolved with speech-to-speech translation technology, so the
companies are definitely putting their marketing savvy to work.
reality is much less superlative and problem free. In real life, this
kind of technology-assisted communication is nowhere near as seamless
or glamorous. Additionally, it is still unclear just how or if end
users will employ this technology in useful or meaningful ways, but the
possibility is there. The anecdotes of first responders using Google
Translate in emergencies and other scenarios when finding a qualified
interpreter is logistically impossible or financially impractical
continue to appear in the media. Time will tell if these technologies
will be up to the task.
incipient speech-to-speech in-ear gadget segment of the tech sector has
become quite crowded as of late. Here are a few of the contenders. It
is important to note that none of these devices is currently available
off the shelf. You can preorder with delivery starting as early as
mid-October for some, mid-December for others.
earpieces do not have to be paired with a mobile phone app to function,
making them the only autonomous speech-to-speech translator on the
list. Lingmo is powered by IBM Watson artificial intelligence. It can
translate any combination of nine different languages. Unlike the other
gadgets on this list, Lingmo only does speech-to-speech translation.
You can't listen to your favorite music or talk on your mobile phone. I
should have a pair of the One2One headsets in my mailbox later this
month for testing and will be writing a review for The Tech-Savvy
Interpreter soon. Price $279.00.
Pixel Buds made a
big splash this week when they were unveiled at the
Google launch event. Of
course, they only work with Google Translate and the new Google Pixel 2
smartphone and on-demand translation is only one of their features. One
big advantage of Pixel Buds over other in-ear translators is that they
do not require a complete stranger to stick something of yours in their
ear to converse with you. You hear the translation into your language
in your earbuds, and your conversation partner hears the translation
into his or her language through the front speakers of the Pixel 2
smartphone. This earbud and smartphone combination can translate 40
different languages. Price $160.00.
Labs Pilot Translating Earpiece --
This in-ear translator started as a
campaign on IndieGoGo and
has garnered just under $5 million without producing a single device
for sale. That pretty well proves there is pent-up demand for this
technology. The question now becomes, can they make it work? Delivery
of beta-test versions is going on now with main production and delivery
starting in December. The Pilot Translating Earpiece must be paired
with the Pilot App (currently available in the iOS App
Store and Google
tested the app without the earpiece. "Seamless" or "easy" are not words
I would use to describe my experience. The basic edition provides
speech-to-speech translation between English, French, Italian,
Portuguese and Spanish. You'll have to pay more for languages like
Chinese, German, Greek, Korean, Russian or Turkish. Price $249.00.
Real-time Translating Earphone --
The result of another
more modest crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, this
speech-to-speech translator also pairs to an app on your smartphone
using Bluetooth technology. Like the Pixel Buds, the WT2 also has a
mode that allows you to use your smartphone to converse with others
rather than requiring that they put the other in-ear translator in
their ear. The form factor is futuristic and the promotional video
slick, but this
initial review from Linus Tech Tips brings
a dose of tongue-in-cheek reality to this segment, showing that things
are nowhere near as simple as the promo videos would lead us to
believe. No retail price available yet.
Braghi Dash Pro --
These earbuds are designed first and foremost as wireless earbuds, not
as an in-ear translator. Think of it this way, enjoy these wireless
earbuds to listen to your tunes, oh, and by the way, you can use them
for speech-to-speech translation too when paired with the iTranslate (iOS and Android) or
Converse (iOS only) apps.
The translation feature seems a bit like an afterthought on these
earbuds. Retails for $329.00
Should You Care?
is easy for professional interpreters to be dismissive of these
gadgets. They are nowhere near capable of providing the high-level
interpreting we do as professionals in a multitude of settings. But we
need to be -- at the very minimum -- aware of these
speech-to-speech translation platforms and understand the premise
behind them so we can intelligently explain the difference between what
they do and what we do. Otherwise, we run the risk of appearing
uninformed about a development that is directly related to what we do
you have a question about a specific technology? Or would you like to
learn more about a specific interpreting platform, interpreter console
or supporting technology? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
in Conference Interpreting since 1972. New cloud and app-based
technologies including Linguali, cutting-edge equipment & sound
booths and professional interpreters world-wide. We believe in
relationship-based customer service that focuses on meeting the needs
of interpreters. As Company Founder, Bill Wood, said years ago:
"Interpreters will not be replaced by technology, they will be replaced
by interpreters who use technology." Find out why interpreters
love working with us.
Wordfast Pro 5 (Premium Edition)
writing this review of the latest version of Wordfast
(5), I re-read what I wrote almost exactly two years ago about Wordfast
I encourage you to read it. Wordfast was unhappy with me for
appearing too critical but I thought (and still think) that I pretty
much "nailed" it. Wordfast 4 was not a release that
distinguished itself with a lot of new features (except a really new
and different interface); instead, it provided overall enhancements of
existing features or introduced features that the competition had long
said this was somewhat surprising because other Wordfast products, in
were real trailblazers.
with version 5 of Wordfast Pro, it's sort of the same:
relatively few completely new features and lots of enhancements. But
while my assessment might have felt a little critical two years ago, I
tend to be more positive now. Why? Because Wordfast 5 feels
. . . you can find the rest of
this article about Wordfast Pro and the future of Wordfast Classic for
Mac and Windows in the premium edition. If you'd like to read more, an
annual subscription to the premium edition costs just $25 at xl8.link/ToolBoxJournal.
If you subscribe you'll also get access to to archives of Tool Box
Journals all the way back to 2007.
conferences you should not miss until the end of the year
the conference reason becomes more active, the memoQ team is hitting
the road again to meet their current and future users.
our team, schedule a meeting, and let us help you make your translation
workflow more effective.
are looking forward to meeting you all over the world!
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