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When Language Technology Promises Vacation Romances – But You Better Have a Backup Plan
Imagine yourself in a café in Paris or on a beach in Cancún, running into some gorgeous human specimen you just can’t help but approach. You walk up to the person, offer them a hearing device, and point for them to put it in their ear while you pop one in yourself. Then you launch an app on your smartphone and start communicating

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A Cynic’s Guide to “Winning” at Machine Translation
Every new development in the field of machine translation (MT) is accompanied by a set of numbers that purport to show dramatic improvement in terms of quality, usually BLEU or METEOR scores. These measures use a scale from 0 to 100 to quantify how similar the MT output is to one or more human translations of the same source text based on a mechanical

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Augmented Translation Powers up Language Services
Language services today stand on the cusp of a disruptive transformation that will redefine how professional linguists work. This shift will come from the availability of ubiquitous artificial intelligence (AI) that extends their reach and capability and makes them far more efficient than they could otherwise be. CSA Research calls this new professional

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Zero-Shot Translation Is Both More and Less Important Than You Think
Recent advances in neural machine translation (NMT) represent a significant step forward in machine translation capabilities. Although most media coverage has significantly oversold the technology, one of Google’s announcements may actually be the most important one in the long run – the first successful deployment of zero-shot translation

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Is Neural MT Really as Good as Human Translation?
By now, most language professionals have seen that claims that neural machine translation (NMT) is delivering results as good – or almost as good – as human translation. If these claims – which have been repeated in the mainstream tech press without much examination – are accurate, it is only a matter of time before human translators

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A Forum for Objective Discussion about MT Technologies
Developers of machine translation (MT) technology have become increasingly active in announcing major architectural enhancements that promise to deliver substantial gains in output quality and decreases in training costs. Journalists in mainstream media have picked up the MT industry's neural networking theme and predicted universal communication. But

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How Hollywood Turned Language into a Weapon
While linguists may not be as popular as doctors or lawyers on the big screen, they make a regular appearance in a supporting role. Occasionally, they even land the lead role with big-name stars like Amy Adams in the recently-released “The Arrival” or Nicole Kidman in “The Interpreter.” Language provides an extra dimension

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The Impact of Freelance Translators on MT – and Vice Versa
Freelancers sit at the front lines of translation production. Their views on machine translation (MT) have a direct effect on any organization’s ability to deploy solutions. They can make or break initiatives to leverage the technology. In January and February of 2016, CSA Research surveyed 228 freelance linguists to understand their attitudes

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Neural MT Leaves the Lab for Beta and Third-Party Assessment
SYSTRAN announced the beta test of its Pure Neural Machine Translation (PNMT) software with 30 language pairs (18 with English, 12 with French), a dozen corporate clients in diverse industries, and online public access to its software. This beta program caps a year of industry and media attention to deep learning, artificial intelligence,

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MT Is Changing the Industry, Just Not in the Way Mainstream Media Thinks It Will
Machine translation (MT) has caught the public eye once again. The Wall Street Journal recently predicted that “the language barrier is about to fall” – within 10 years. We might note that this is one barrier that has been “about to fall” for far longer than the actual Berlin Wall stayed up, and that it’s been an

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Innovative Ideas to Communicate with Patients in Healthcare Settings
The interpreting field is a hotbed of creativity due to technological advances and the desire from large-scale buyers to spend their budgets wisely. In this blog post, we explore two new solutions for medical patients with limited language proficiency (LLP), which can substitute for on-site or remote interpreters in select healthcare settings –

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FREME Services Power Vistatec Automated Content Enrichment
The digital universe grows by a massive amount of structured and unstructured content every day. This flood of data comes in a broad range of standardized and proprietary formats and languages for uncounted application needs around the planet. Much of this data never leaves the silo for which it was created, but business analysts and information scientists

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The Babel Fish Swims Closer to Reality
Today we celebrate The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (H2G2, for short), the Douglas Adams novel that created the most enduring model for machine translation, the babel fish. May 25th is Towel Day, a commemoration of Arthur Dent's unplanned and sudden exodus from Earth, first described in a 1978 BBC radio series. On that day, Ford Prefect, alien

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Who Owns a Language? Why Klingon Matters
Who owns a language? This question recently emerged when Paramount Pictures and CBS claimed copyright to the Klingon language. Klingon is an “artificial” or invented language, one of hundreds of such tongues dating back to at least the early medieval period. Linguist Marc Okrand invented it for the movie Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

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The Path to Statistical MT Success Is Paved with Big Data – and Not Just Yours
Better machine translation (MT) is surely at the top of many organizations’ globalization wishlists. But they all wonder how they can develop good MT engines that produce usable results. Two approaches, often used in combination with one another, allow them to collect enough linguistic assets to train their MT: Harvest open data sources

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What Can Other Industries Learn from Travel and Leisure Companies?
Travelers visit on average 22 sites before booking accommodations. They contribute more than 80 entries to TripAdvisor every minute. Meanwhile, the entire travel sector is undergoing major transformation as Marriott acquires Starwood, Uber up-ends the transportation sector, and all brands try to figure out how to replicate in China their previous success

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Japan Translation Federation - Translation Festival in Tokyo
CSA Research participated in the JTF Translation Festival, the annual conference of the Japan Translation Federation (JTF). This year's theme was a retrospective look at 25 years of the JTF and a glimpse into the future as "the translation industry challenges the expanding market with endless innovation." One such innovation is machine translation

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Welocalize Recapitalizes with Norwest Equity Partners
Earlier this week, CEO Smith Yewell of Welocalize, told us about the company's newest investor, Norwest Equity Partners (NEP), a private equity group (PEG). Norwest bought out Riverside Partners, which had made a large investment late 2010. Yewell would not disclose the stake that Norwest has in Welocalize, #9 on CSA Research's 2014 list of the world's

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Gambling on Machine Translation
We recently caught up with Russell Gowlett, an executive at PKR Technologies, to talk about PKR.com, a gaming website based in the Channel Islands. The site offers an immersive experience in online poker in a 3D environment with enough character customization to meet the needs of any aspiring Kenny Rogers. While the majority of PKR’s gamblers

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Security Software Aims to Prevent MT Data Leakage
Even if government agencies and hackers stopped looking at your web queries, e-mail, and phone messages, you would still have to worry about your data security. Why? Both your employees and your suppliers are unconsciously conspiring to broadcast your confidential information, trade secrets, and intellectual property (IP) to the world. How? Through

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Building the Localization Web
Smaller language service providers (LSPs) process fewer words than larger ones. Not only does this mean that they earn less income than their bigger competitors, but it also puts them at a disadvantage when it comes to leveraging linguistic assets due to the smaller size of their terminology databases and translation memories (TMs). These less comprehensive

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Big Data Comes to the Translation Sector
In our 2011 report on trends in machine translation (MT), we found that "the statistics-based approach to MT is basically a big-data application" (see "Trends in Machine Translation," Oct11). We predicted that experts would apply these algorithms to crack inter-language communication and marketing issues as they processed more languages and huge

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Software Developers and LSPs Enhance Machine Translation Capabilities
In recent months many developers of machine translation (MT) technology and supporting tools have told us about new features that will increase the quality and usability of their products. New to the ranks are language service providers (LSPs) that are actively investing in production models employing MT. Here are some noteworthy additions, listed alphabetically

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Machine Translation Continues Its Journey to the Promised Land
Until a few years ago, anyone wanting to use machine translation (MT) had to buy it from a commercial supplier or build it themselves (see “Trends in Machine Translation,” Oct11). Then along came the Moses decoder, an open-source statistical MT (SMT) engine that is available at Github. Two commercialized variants -- a new do-it-yourself

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Celebrities Invest in Language Technology
LinguaSys today announced that Mark Cuban, technology mogul and owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, “acquired a significant position” in the company, producer of the Carabao machine translation software. He cited its role in helping large enterprises get “across language boundaries and conduct global business.”

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