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Introduction to Statistical Machine Translation, Post-Editing and AdaptiveMT – Presentation at Cardiff University by Valeria Filippello 08.03.17

Valeria Filippello is a Principal Computational Linguist for SDL, a leading translation technology company. This presentation, an Introduction to Statistical Machine Translation, Post-Editing and AdaptiveMT, was an NSS Careers and Networking Event, organised jointly by the School of Modern languages (MLANG), Cardiff University, and ITI Cymru Wales. Valeria has spent 10 years in her role, her primary task being to test and develop machine translation (MT) and also to train translators in the use of MT. She is a trained translator and interpreter. Why the need for MT? Ability to handle content explosion – for example the launch of a new mobile phone is done very quickly and there needs to be quick translations done for any product release Reduced production costs Faster throughput Greater industry acceptance There is also a greater consumer acceptance of MT. An estimated 75% of web users use free MT tools due to the greater accessibility and integration of MT solutions. 93% of these MT users use it to understand English. Over 90% are non-English speakers. Valeria went on to describe the different types of MT technologies… There is RBMT – Rules-based Machine Translation – the Engine consists of a set of rules, each written by a linguist. RBMT is time-consuming and it’s application is limited. There is SMT – Statistical Machine Translation – on the basis of a large set of examples, the engine learns translation rules for itself. Also, there is Hybrid MT which is any combination of SMT and RBMT Technology. SMT involves a large database where ‘the system “learns” how to translate by analysing statistical relationships between source and target data.’ The Pros and Cons of SMT ADVANTAGES Once the learning system is in place, developing new engines is a quick process Translations are relatively fluent and show some context-sensitivity DISADVANTAGES Needs large databases of good quality to be feasible engine cannot be influenced directly little control on terminology SMT provides solutions for Post-Editing (PE). Post-editing is an ‘en vogue’ category of employment for translators these days. PE is more and more accepted by translators. PE needs to be sustainable in the long term You need the right solution and a good PE process There is a challenge in devising SMT solutions for Post-Editing. Train translators to become efficient post-editors Retrain MT engines taking into account post-editors’ feedback Here are some types of SMT solutions BASELINES eg. Google Translate VERTICALS –…

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Review: Translation-mediated Communication in a Digital World

Translation-mediated Communication

Translation-mediated Communication in a Digital World by Minako O’Hagan My rating: 3 of 5 stars This book was published in 2002 and obviously a lot has changed in twelve years in the filed of technology. Bearing in mind that it is outdated, there are, however, some very good valid points which are raised about translation-mediated communication in the computer age. Translators need a new set of skills in order to function in the modern age. There is a movement towards machine translation and the way in which it integrates into traditional styles of translation is a new subject for translation studies. The whole internet and the increasing need for webpage translation means that translators need to be aware of web languages and also about the varied nature of websites. The whole language of websites is different. People do not read websites like they do books or traditional forms of media and this the language to be translated is different. I found the whole approach of the book to the translator’s role in globalisation to bring some good far-reaching ideas into my mind about the future of translation. I left this book wondering more about the subject and the possibilities of technology. To be critical of the book, there was an overuse of acronyms. TMC was easy enough to adapt to but I found that the steady introduction of new acronyms in the text just became overbearing and confusing so that I couldn’t remember what was being referred to. There was a fair bit of repetition of ideas and sometimes the language became too over-technical and unnecessarily complicated and was very difficult to follow. I think the authors are obviously talented people in this field and have critical knowledge. I would like to see the book brought up to date for today’s situation. The ideas identified in this work were very prophetic and this indicates the high level of competence in the study. View all my reviews

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Review: Translation-mediated Communication in a Digital World

Translation-mediated Communication in a Digital World by Minako O’Hagan My rating: 3 of 5 stars This book was published in 2002 and obviously a lot has changed in twelve years in the filed of technology. Bearing in mind that it is outdated, there are, however, some very good valid points which are raised about translation-mediated communication in the computer age. Translators need a new set of skills in order to function in the modern age. There is a movement towards machine translation and the way in which it integrates into traditional styles of translation is a new subject for translation studies. The whole internet and the increasing need for webpage translation means that translators need to be aware of web languages and also about the varied nature of websites. The whole language of websites is different. People do not read websites like they do books or traditional forms of media and this the language to be translated is different. I found the whole approach of the book to the translator’s role in globalisation to bring some good far-reaching ideas into my mind about the future of translation. I left this book wondering more about the subject and the possibilities of technology. To be critical of the book, there was an overuse of acronyms. TMC was easy enough to adapt to but I found that the steady introduction of new acronyms in the text just became overbearing and confusing so that I couldn’t remember what was being referred to. There was a fair bit of repetition of ideas and sometimes the language became too over-technical and unnecessarily complicated and was very difficult to follow. I think the authors are obviously talented people in this field and have critical knowledge. I would like to see the book brought up to date for today’s situation. The ideas identified in this work were very prophetic and this indicates the high level of competence in the study. View all my reviews

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Review: Is That a Fish in Your Ear? The Amazing Adventure of Translation

Is That a Fish in Your Ear? The Amazing Adventure of Translation by David Bellos My rating: 5 of 5 stars I am starting a degree in Translation at Cardiff University next year and I thought I would try to get to grip with this new endeavour by learning a bit more about the art and science of Translation Studies. David Bellos is a professional with an obvious passion for languages. His book is most interesting and covers a very wide range of areas, neatly categorised into concise chapters which flow together seamlessly. The history of Translation opened my eyes and really build on the often misconceived notions a non-specialist may have on Translation. The book was full of very interesting and educated anecdotes which were often humorous and always memorable. I found the development of machine translation most intriguing and the different roles of translators in the modern world was well-covered. It is very surprising how the English language is represented globally and its dominance as a global lingua franca produces some bizarre skews for the world of translation. there is a dearth of foreign language speakers with English mother-tongue which is one reason why I am studying the Translation degree. This introductory book has really inspired me and convinced me that I am on the right course. I feel motivated by the wide range of possibilities further study in this area could bring. I think that it is a most wise study and I can see that this book will become well-thumbed as a reference-point for me in the future. I don’t reread many books but I can certainly see me repeating this work. View all my reviews

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