with limited places: How
can I make my work easier with Machine Translation?
and tricks for projects with Machine Translation
In this Webinar, you will learn how you can use the proven Transit
functions to complete Machine Translation projects without the initial
hurdles. To register, simply send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
from the translation department of the University of Leeds wrote to me
a couple of weeks ago:
reason I'm writing is to ask whether you've had a chance to play with Sketch
Engine. In Leeds, we've been using it in our corpus linguistics
work a lot and it's got brilliant features, from the terabytes of super
useful multilingual data which it already comes with, to features for
term extraction, specialised corpus building, thesaurus, collocations,
and tons more! It's really, really cool and I'm only writing to you
because the translators I know who have been playing with it also like
it a lot. So I thought you may want to check it out and even feature in
the Tool Box."
sure whether you could tell, but Dragoș really likes Sketch
Engine. And in a way, I could stop the article right here, because
he already said it all -- sort of.
spending some time looking at Sketch Engine, I felt embarrassed
that I hadn't known more about it. As Dragoș said, it's really,
really cool. It's also a monster of a tool (size-wise) and it's not
particularly easy to navigate when you first encounter it. (According
to Ondřej Matuska of the Sketch Engine team, this is
indeed one of the areas that they're trying to focus on in the
immediate future: to make the product more user-friendly.)
first of all, what exactly is Sketch Engine and what does it do?
a corpus tool developed by the Czech company Lexical Computing Limited.
Lexical Computing was originally founded in 2003 by the late Brit Adam
Kilgarriff and Pavel Rychlý, a professor at Masaryk University
in Brno. The idea of corpus tools, and this corpus tool in particular,
is to find out how language behaves based on large collections of data.
For this purpose, Sketch Engine built corpora in more
than 80 languages (as well as "time-stamped" corpora in a slightly
of 18 languages for the purpose of comparing word usage over time).
The sizes of the corpora differ widely (from just a few million words
in Maori to more than 800 billion in English), and they are available
for a number of analysis purposes for any paying trial user (the annual
subscription price is 100 euros for non-academic users, with the trial
period ending after 30 days).
analyses you can do on these corpora with Sketch Engine include
sketches: This is where the program got its name, and it's what
Kilgarriff brought to the table. A word sketch is a summary of a word's
grammatical and collocational behavior (collocational refers to the
analysis of how often a word co-occurs with other words or phrases).
Since the data in the corpora is lemmatized (i.e., words are analyzed
so they can be brought back to their base or dictionary form), the
results are a lot more meaningful than what most of our translation
environment tools provide when they're unable to relate different forms
of one word to each other. Another word sketch option that Sketch
Engine offers is the comparison of word sketches of similar words.
The ability to retrieve a detailed list or a graphical word cloud with
similar words, including links to create reports on word sketch
differences for those terms to understand the exact differences in
Searches for single words, terms, or even longer phrases. Since the
data in the supported languages is tagged, it's also possible to search
for specific classes of words or specific classes of words that
surround the word in question.
corpus: Retrieval of bilingual sets of words or phrases within the
contexts. Presently this is available only for on-screen data viewing,
but it will soon be offered as downloadable data. This is especially
helpful when uploading your own translation memories (see below).
lists: The possibility of creating lists of words and the number of
occurrences, either as lemmas (the base form of each word) or in each
your own corpus: For translators this likely is the most exciting
feature. You can use the tool's own search engine mechanism (which
relies on Microsoft
Bing) to create a monolingual corpus. The tool will create a list
of websites that contain the terms
that are relevant to your field, have them automatically download,
form a corpus. I don't need to explain to you the possibilities this
offers to translators who don't have the privilege of having
high-quality translation memories or termbases for a particular subject
matter that they need to translate. As a logical extension of this
feature, you cannot only perform any of the functions mentioned earlier
on this new corpus
but it is also possible to run a keyword search on the user-created
corpus, identify the terms that are relevant, and download that into an
Excel or TBX file. The term-extraction feature
available for Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Chinese, Italian,
Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.
- You can
also create a bilngual corpus by uploading your own translation
memories and use Sketch Engine's more user-friendly OneClick
Terms site to extract terms from TMX, XLIFF, PDF,
DOC, DOCX, HTML, or TXT files in essentially one or two clicks.
have been one of the primary target groups for the makers of Sketch
Engine. One immediate result of that focus is the availability of a
plug-in for SDL Trados Studio (see here and here).
The plug-in itself is free, but it requires a trial or paid
registration to be usable. It allows you to perform collocation,
thesaurus, and concordance searches and will soon offer term
extraction. According to Sketch Engine's Ondřej, talks with
makers of other translation environment tools are under way to offer
plug-ins or add-ons for those tools as well.
you believe you've never heard about this tool before? Well, maybe you
were quicker than I to find this, but the good thing is that now we all
My SDL Trados app, at your finger tips
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.
& Match Experts (Premium Edition)
preparation for my talk at ConVTI-2017, the online event on August
organized by our colleagues Gio Lester and Marcia Nabrzecki, I am
trying to make sense of something that will not be new to many of you
but likely is a nuisance nevertheless. I'm talking about how new
technologies are difficult to use in combination with each other.
are the three most important and widely available new technologies when
it comes to translation?
. . you can find the rest of this article in the premium edition. If
you'd like to read more, an annual subscription to the premium edition
costs just $25 at www.internationalwriters.com/toolkit.
Or you can purchase the latest edition of the Translator's Tool
Box ebook and receive an annual subscription for free.
all the world's best dictionaries at your fingertips!
a fixed monthly fee, on all your devices, integrated in your daily work
-- One service, more than 200 dictionaries in 12 languages including
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The Tech-Savvy Interpreter: BYOD Comes to Simultaneous Interpreting:
The Linguali Kit (Column by Barry Slaughter Olsen)
sure to watch this month's Tech-Savvy Interpreter video to see the
Linguali kit in action debuting on Friday, July 14th.
readers of The Tech-Savvy Interpreter will know that I took a first
look at Linguali
(pronounced Ling-GWALL-ee), a bring-your-own-device (BYOD)
solution for on-site simultaneous interpretation, in October 2016.
Linguali is one of a handful of BYOD solutions on the market today that
allow delegates at a meeting to listen to the on-site interpretation
with an app on their smartphone or tablet. These solutions offer
significant potential savings to clients on equipment rental and offer
a simultaneous interpretation solution that is more in line with
today's technology platforms -- namely, smart devices.
using modern-looking technology to provide simultaneous interpretation
may not seem like a big deal, I have heard comments from multiple end
clients stating that they were not happy with the look and feel of the
traditional (in other words "old looking") simultaneous interpretation
equipment offered by many conference organizers. So much so that they
have begun to look elsewhere for multilingual communication solutions.
Although BYOD solutions have not been fully developed and refined yet,
they are viable options for certain types of bilingual and multilingual
meetings with on-site simultaneous interpretation.
revisit this tech platform less than a year later? Simple. The platform
has evolved and is in regular use on at least two continents. Not to
mention I had the chance to get my hands on a "Linguali kit" that
includes everything an interpreter needs to offer simultaneous
interpretation for a small bilingual meeting. So, let's take a look.
Linguali kit provided to me by DS-Interpretation (a certified Linguali
partner) is intended for use in small bilingual meetings, say, for up
to 25 people (although Linguali states one access point can handle up
to 60 connections). My interpreting career has been replete with this
kind of meetings with a dozen or so technical experts from two
different countries meeting in a small-to-medium-sized conference room,
so this kit seems like a perfect solution for this type of gathering.
These meetings usually start with presentations and then lots of
back-and-forth to discuss proposals and negotiate terms of an
agreement. With traditional portable equipment, interpreters are
usually at the mercy of the ambient sound in the room and may need to
wander around during the meeting to hear all the participants when they
addresses this challenge by turning participants' smart devices not
only into receivers to hear the interpretation but also into
push-to-talk microphones that provide direct sound into the
interpreter's headset. This is a definite improvement over traditional
portable equipment that offers no direct sound for the interpreter. Not
all smartphone mics are created equal, so audio quality will vary, but
the tests I conducted showed that iPad and iPhone microphones provide
adequate sound for
charges US$5.00 per smartphone connection per conference -- a
significant savings over traditional simultaneous equipment costs.
in the Kit?
basic Linguali kit that I tested included:
Afoundry wireless router
Sennheiser PC 8 USB headset
Microsoft Surface Pro tablet with Windows 10 Pro edition and Intel Core
kit can easily be expanded to include iPods and disposable earbuds for
delegate use. But if meeting participants bring their own smart
devices, the router, headset and computer are all you need to provide
simultaneous interpretation. This kit is a replacement for a
traditional "bidule" or portable setup used for small meetings with or
without an interpretation booth, but interpreters will need a table to
set up the computer if no booth is provided.
and Technical Requirements
theory, setup is not complex but does entail several steps that must be
performed in order. First, plug in the wireless router. Then, fire up
the computer, connect it to the router's wireless network, plug in the
USB headset, and then start your conference on the computer by opening
the Linguali interpreter console. Delegates then download and launch
the Linguali app on their smartphones, then connect their smart devices
to the wireless router and launch the Linguali app to begin listening
to the interpretation. It's important to note that delegates will need
to download the Linguali participant app from the App Store or Google
Play before connecting to the wireless router, since once they do
connect, they will not have internet access.
practice, however, setup can be more complex. It is important to follow
the instructions closely because changing the order of the steps may
cause the smart devices not to recognize the conference and may require
closing out the app and reopening it to connect successfully. Not a
difficult thing to do, but it can be frustrating for a
less-than-tech-savvy delegate who is not familiar with all the features
of a smartphone. The same goes for connecting to the wireless router
used to transmit the interpretation. You'd be surprised how many
smartphone owners don't know how to connect their device to a new Wi-Fi
the wireless router in the kit is not connected to the Internet, while
delegates listen to the interpretation, they will not have Internet
access on their device. Having a separate wi-fi network used
exclusively for the interpreting system is more convenient and ensures
the network will not be overloaded by people surfing the web or
watching cat videos on YouTube. It also keeps people focused on the
meeting. However, not having access to the Internet on their device may
bother some users.
and tablets must be able to run on iOS 8 or later for Apple devices and
4.2 or later for Android devices.
are some observations from my test of the kit in no particular order.
ability to turn an iPod or smartphone into a presenter microphone is
great and worked very well. Pressing the microphone button on the smart
device five times in rapid succession locks the mic open. Used with a
recommended lavalier microphone it works well for longer presentations.
The audio the smartphone provides to the interpreter is clear and clean
but I would like to have more volume or "headroom" if I were to need it.
who use this system will need to be comfortable connecting computers
and smart devices to Wi-Fi networks and have a basic understanding of
how plug in and test headphones and microphones.
the Linguali team has put a lot of effort into making the interpreter
desktop and the delegate app easy to use. If a listener does decide to
open another app, Linguali continues to run in the background and the
audio keeps streaming. It is little details like this that will make or
break a BYOD interpreting platform. I encourage the folks at Linguali
to continue to ferret out every possible end user mistake or misstep
that could crash the app. For example, a couple of times the smartphone
app would connect to the conference but the interpreter desk would not
show it was connected, the app would then crash. Reopening and
reconnecting the app resolved the problem in both instances, but these
problems downgrade the user experience.
was not able to do a full load test on the wi-fi network. I simply
don't have enough smart devices to connect to it. But I did connect
five devices and all were able to send and receive audio clearly. Range
was definitely adequate for a small conference room. The router
appeared to have a range of well over 1,500 feet.
Linguali kit I tested is a viable, cost-effective alternative to
traditional portable FM equipment for small bilingual meetings. The
sound quality is very good, and the ability to use delegates' smart
devices as push-to-talk microphones to provide interpreters with direct
sound is a definite plus. The interpreter interface is simple and
intuitive. That said, Linguali has not hit its stride just yet. There
are still some kinks to be worked out to improve ease of use for both
interpreters and delegates, but if you know your way around a computer
and a smartphone, setting up and using Linguali will be simple and your
clients will likely be impressed by the technology you employ to
provide your services.
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 email@example.com.
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.
Microsoft's Better Voice
rather quietly (pun intended) released a trial version of voice
recognition for 20 different languages and variations of languages
(including Arabic, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French,
German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish,
Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Swedish). While this is only an
add-in for Microsoft Outlook, Word, and PowerPoint,
it would be rather easy to use Word as an interim "staging
area" for your dictated data (to be automatically copied into a
translation environment tool), especially if your language is not
easily supported elsewhere.
have written previously about ways to get access to voice recognition
in many more languages than are covered by Dragon
(Nuance officially dropped the very unnaturally spoken
NaturallySpeaking moniker), but it's good to see that there are more
and more developments that slowly but surely extend the number of
languages being supported with this technology.
remember: If you think that using voice recognition is "geeky," how
much more geeky is it to hack on a keyboard to make your computer
understand what you are trying to say?
to train your translators and know all about their quality?
corrections and mistakes to translators, put quality scores, let them
reports on translators. And automate it all to save your time. Try TQAuditor!
World, Here We Come
a translation app for iPhones in 2010, I was not exceptionally kind
in how I commented on it in the Tool Box Journal (I felt kind
of bad about it afterward). The reason behind my knee-jerk reaction was
a sense that the phone was really not the most productive tool for
professional translators to use (there were some tablet computers in
2010 but not in very wide use). Well, apparently the app did not work
out and it was eventually withdrawn. (It is of course still possible to
use the web-based Wordfast Anywhere on a mobile device.)
I read SDL's press release a couple of weeks ago about their app,
I remembered my unkind response to Wordfast's attempt and
thought it might be good to actually see what the app does and how it
works. But, alas (or maybe: hurray!), it's not actually a translation
app; instead, it's an app that connects you to product support and
other sources of information.
couple of other translation environment tools have also released apps
in the past few months (see the XTM App for Project Managers --
-- and the Memsource Mobile App,
both of which allow you to take care of urgent project management
tasks), but none of them for translation-related tasks.
the increasingly indistinct differentiation between (laptop) computers
and tablets, it does not seem out of the question that we will see
professional translation apps at some point, though. So I asked Massimo
Ghislandi from SDL where discussions stand in that regard right now at
pointed me to some online translation/editing environments of the SDL
Trados Online Editor (I wrote about
that awhile back) and to some future online interfaces that I will
write about in one of the upcoming newsletters. Neither will be in the
form of an app, but completely web-based instead.
takeaway: what we do is just a little too involved to be easily
replicated in an app (not that we need to confirm that, but still...).
After all, the Google app store is not called "Google Play" for no
reason. It might be fun to translate, but it's not all play.
yet tried memoQ 8.1?
PDF import. New Find/Replace. Better preview. And many more.
Install. Enjoy working with memoQ.
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2017 International Writers' Group