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Language technology is taught at most universities educating translators and interpreters. Maybe we could launch a topic where educators and students can exchange ideas, resources and tools to improve teaching language technology at universities and also find out about the skills and comptences wanted by the "industry".

Teaching Language Technology by mkappusmkappus, 14 Feb 2019 13:38

There have been a few studies conducted by T&I (translation and interpreting) academic researchers on CAT tools and other language technologies. These studies, however, have had little impact in discussions among translators. What is the source of our language technology information? Mostly personal experience, anecdotes, successful workflows, marketing spiel we keep repeating to each other.

Wouldn't it be more beneficial to share serious research done and being done on language technologies for discussion and to have empirical information to judge our tools? Here are some examples:
Anna Zaretskaya, PhD: Translator's requirements for translation technologies: user study on translation tools (Google it)

M Kornacki, PhD, Computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools in the translator training process (Google it)

Bundgaard, Paulsen, Schjoldager, Aahrus University, Translator-computer interaction in action - an observational process study of computer-aided translation (Google it)

How would a list of tools be helpful if it is not categorized in some form? I can recognize some desktop-based tools, others are ony web-based, and so on.
A list showing how many translators are using which tools would be useful, though. Maybe a Consumer Reports-like report on CAT and TEnT tools would be useful.

Learning a computer code language is only desirable and advisable if your employer wants you to do it or if there is a clear benefit for future clients. Coding is not a guaranteed meal ticket to better clients.
I've been doing software localization for more than six years. If the different employers I had wanted me to code, I would've learned already.

I love translation because I love writing. Writers, translators included, have used tools to commit ideas to paper or papyrus. If I grab a pen, the pen doesn't guide my thoughts or my translating, I do. To me, writing translations is not a simple bilingual mechanical task but the visible output of many things that go on in my mind.
I fear translation students and many seasoned translators are outsourcing their thinking capabilities to technological solutions. I'm opinionated in the sense that I have strong convictions about what my profession is all about. I feel we should focus on and celebrate more our writing skills, our writing styles, what it takes to sculpt ideas born with the help of foreign-language midwivery, poured on paper or screen in intelligible and readable format.

Aside from the oft-repeated joke that translators are seen as walking dictionaries, there's a kernel of truth in this misconception: that a good dictionary makes you a better translator.

A skill often ignored or discounted as an obvious characteristic of anyone who translates for a living is, precisely, writing competence. We all have writing skills generally: we all know how to write, we have a decent command of our language's alphabet, collocations, syntax and grammar. Yet many of us forget that translation is mainly writing. Writing is a task that requires focus, mental organization of ideas, discipline, planning, and deep knowledge of language and discourse (rhetorical competence). It also places taxing cognitive demands. Translators are not only expected to write well in their native tongue but to express themselves as equally competently in the languages they translate from. There are chains of cognitive tasks happening during reading, paraphrasing, writing and translating, and many of these tasks are only hinted at by their byproduct: the written translation. Translators should be invited to reflect on their writing skills, assess them and improve them with better reading (that's just one strategy).

Some working environments may benefit from texts or fragments suggested by different MT engines. Putting aside the confidentiality problem (uploading company texts to an external server, no matter how secure it may be, is still a no-no in some companies), I propose that T&I scholars conduct a series of tests to measure how MT-suggested phrases, sentences or paragraphs influence the final translation.

Without tests that can be independently replicated and measured, we are left at the mercy of marketing promises. A seasoned translator may identify subpar MT suggestions but what about less experienced translators, or translators with a weak command of their native (target) language?

I think one of the first best practices in MT use in a workflow is this: determine whether MT is actually necessary to begin with. This should not be seen as a Luddite reaction but a considered thought on the use of technology for its own sake.

It's becoming more and more evident that being a talented, expert translator of spoken languages won't be enough to stay competitive in the future of this rapidly evolving industry. Never fear, however, because language is language, and with some training we are all capable of learning another language or two programming languages to stay ahead of the curve and be tech-savvy translators.

How have you benefited as a translator or localization specialist by learning how to code? What resources did you find most helpful? To those already expert in the field, what recommendations can you make to those just starting out learning development skills?

Feel free to share pitfalls, suggestions, anecdotes, tips, tricks, and any hacks in general related to tackling code as a translation professional!

Hi everyone,

I'm Evdoxia Renta and I've been working in the localization industry for 20 years, initially as an English-Greek translator, and the last 7 years exclusively as a Greek reviewer. I mainly deal with Quality Assurance issues, like LQA, FQA and quality metrics. Also, I'm the Lead Reviewer for 3 major accounts and the Vice President of the Greek Translators Association (PEM).

Thank you for accepting me in the Wiki.
I hope my knowledge and experience will provide the Forum with some practical help.


Re: Hello world! by Evdoxia RentaEvdoxia Renta, 09 Nov 2018 13:33

In the early 2010s there were a number of products that offered translation memory-based authoring (the most well-known products were offered by SDL and Sajan), i.e. products that attempted to make technical writers use content that was already in a translation memory so that the source would be identical and would result jn a 100% translation match (and of course greater consistency overall). In my opinion these products failed because technical writers struggled with the same things than translators did 10 years prior: not enough creativity, feeling forced to write a certain way, poor quality of the TM data etc. We (as translators) had a really good opportunity to become ambassadors for this (back then) new technology and essentially teach the technical writing community how to overcome these issues (or at least lessen their impact). I think it might be too late to try this again — technology has moved on and there is maybe less emphasis on translation memories — but I think it's a great example of how we can become thought leaders even in fields that are not directly associated with ours.

Still an opportunity? by Jost ZetzscheJost Zetzsche, 17 Oct 2018 19:48

Thank you very much for the clarification Tom!

I am the proud Creative and Strategy Officer at Interpreters' Help. You can test it for free.

Got it! I will avoid sales pitches. However, if you ever find inappropriate one of my messages, do not hesitate to tell me, il be glad to modify/delete it.

Re: Interpreters by Lourdes_SpainLourdes_Spain, 07 May 2018 16:50

Hi Tom,

Thanks for the explanation. I got it! :D

Re: Notifications by Lourdes_SpainLourdes_Spain, 07 May 2018 16:38

We do have a Topic "Translation Management Systems" for this class of tools.

The Discussion area is for general discussions about the site. You will find a Comments discussion in each of the Sub-topics.

Re: topics or discussion? by Tom AlwoodTom Alwood, 26 Mar 2018 16:44

I've added a sub-topic index which should make it easier to find. We are under certain constraints using an open-source platform.

I've added a new view for Sub-topics on the top navigation bar. That should make it easier.

Re: navigation by Tom AlwoodTom Alwood, 26 Mar 2018 16:42
Re: Notifications by Tom AlwoodTom Alwood, 26 Mar 2018 16:19
Re: Notifications
(account deleted) 22 Mar 2018 20:54
in discussion Improve this site / Suggested improvements » Notifications

Hi Tom
I can't see how to set notifications in settings as you describe above
I\m at /account /settings
what am I doing wrong?
thanks in advance

Re: Notifications by (account deleted), 22 Mar 2018 20:54
Re: date of last edit
(account deleted) 22 Mar 2018 20:48
in discussion Improve this site / Suggested improvements » date of last edit

Thanks Tom.
I've joined the site now but I didn't get notifications of your replies here as I'd expected (and they're not in my spam)
Do I have to change settings to get them?

Re: date of last edit by (account deleted), 22 Mar 2018 20:48

Thanks Tom,
From a user-point of view I would say not seeing sub-topics in the main Topics list is a problem… you can't know they are there without dipping into a topic. So you can't find them, so you can't participate in the discussion.

On Help pages. Do people read Help files? I'm afraid I don't. And I bet I'm not an unusual user. If you want the site to take off then catering to lazy users (aka normal users) by making what we are supposed to do obvious and or intuitive would be the best way to go.

Re: consistency & instructions by (account deleted), 22 Mar 2018 20:46
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