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Open-Source Tools Support Machine Translation
Posted by Donald A. DePalma on December 10, 2010  in the following blogs: Technology, Translation and Localization, Business Globalization, Best Practices
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Tools for open-source machine translation (MT) have become available from Precision Translation and Symantec, adding to the portfolio of products being developed to broaden the use of machine translation.
  • Precision Translation Tools released its Do Moses Yourself Community Edition (DoMY CE), billed as "the first packaged distribution" of a complete open-source statistical machine translation (SMT) solution. It includes the Moses Decoder (aka the SMT toolkit); all the software that Moses needs to run on Linux; and workflows to prepare training data, train engines, and translate documents into multiple languages. Managing Director Tom Hoar added that the distribution includes professional customer support and a new website with FAQs and user forums. All this for free -- or for a donation of US$25. Of course, Hoar hopes that users will upgrade to the commercial version with enhanced recasing and training data quality control. For the average corporate user or language service provider (LSP) interested in trying out MT, DoMY CE represents a low-risk way to do so.
  • SymEval is billed as a translation evaluation toolkit that compares and scores translations. The developer, MT research Johann Roturier of Symantec, has released the software in open-source form on SourceForce under an LGPL license. Symantec has used the software to assess MT output in pre-production runs and to sample post-edited segments to determine whether they have been over- or under-edited (see "The Market for MT Post-Editing," Nov10). Researchers at the Centre for Next-Generation Localisation (CGNL) have used it for various pre-processing tasks. According to Roturier, many researchers at the recent CNGL Localisation Innovation Showcase liked the idea of integrating SymEval's capabilities into their own tools.
We've written that three black-box issues block the increased use of machine translation: the ability to train MT engines, the need to raise linguistic quality, and increasing usability. Packages like DoMY CE and tools such as SymEval will lower these barriers to usage.

 

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Keywords: Machine translation, Open-source translation technologies, Translation, Translation technologies

  
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