As a leading Custom Machine Translation company, we at KantanMT believe that Academic Partnerships have a huge role to play in furthering the scope of research and innovation in the field of Machine Translation.
The students from our Partner Universities go on to have very successful careers in the language industry. We are always looking for ways to improve the KantanMT platform, and to keep our finger on the pulse of the KantanMT user experience, we asked one of the students using the platform to answer some questions about the platform.
KantanMT has an ongoing Academic Partnership with Centre for Multidisciplinary and Intercultural Inquiry (CMII) at University College London. A few weeks back, we published a post featuring Senior Lecturer Mark Shuttleworth and his experience using and teaching KantanMT.
This week we will share our discussion with one of the students who used the KantanMT platform during their course.
KantanMT: What made you choose this course, and how to do you think it will help your career?
Student: I chose this course because I wanted to get in touch with the latest trends in the translation industry, and to obtain better understanding of the application of translation technology. Moreover, I had taken Computer-Aided Translation (CAT) courses in my undergraduate degree, which involved basic level learning of translation software and project management. I became interested in the industrial practice of translation projects. I found this course relevant to both my learning experience and my future prospect as a professional translator.
The most beneficial part of the course, in terms of career development, would be the exposure of the wide-ranging translation technologies. Although the course does not attempt to achieve thorough understanding of every function, it provides a useful map of available resources, tools and research techniques for me to consult whenever I come across difficulties in my practical works.
Also, via reviewing the history and current development of machine translation, I further realize the importance of computer literacy for a professional translator, which encourages me to embrace the changes and adapt to the working mode of modern translation professionals.
KantanMT: Did you have any previous experience of Machine Translation, if not how did you find using the KantanMT system?
Student: Yes, I had machine translation experience before KantanMT.com as many of us do – Google Translate. Specifically, in Mandarin environment, I have also used online translation services provided by Youdao and Baidu. Compared with all these counterparts, the KantanMT system outstands in terms of the high level of user autonomy, in that it allows the user to upload the material selected by themselves and therefore ideally it should yield outcomes that are most consistent with the user’s expectation.
However, according to my personal experience, it takes a considerably large amount of training materials to generate a product that reaches an average score of the in-built evaluation systems. In this respect, KantanMT might not be as suitable for individual users (esp. beginner translators) as the other online machine translation services.
KantanMT: What are your thoughts on using the KantanMT platform, what did you find good and do you have any suggestions for improvement?
Student: The good part I found about KantanMT platform is its self-evaluation system that incorporates different machine evaluation mechanisms. It can help users modify their training more effectively and efficiently.
But, I would be pleased to see an improvement in monolingual material learning, more comprehensive support for different file types such as PDF, as well as a solution for formatting problems in translation products in different languages (such as Mandarin).
KantanMT: What is your impression of the translation industry, and in your opinion, what do you think the industry will look like in the future?
I think that the translation industry is evolving towards a higher level of professionalism and industrialization. The proactive participation of technology is reshaping the working style for professional translators and raising the standards to become a professional translator. In the future, the major responsibility of a translator in commercial translation may have further divisions, such as machine translation engine trainer. But by no doubt if one does not have any knowledge or awareness of the translation technology, he/she will lose an important advantage in the professional translator career.
What did KantanMT do with this feedback?
We are delighted with the feedback from the UCL students, and we will use this to improve our platform. Thanks to the feedback, we now offer support for native PDF documents for monolingual training data.
To help with the formatting issue we recently fixed how the platform handles formatting in Microsoft Word documents to improve tokenisation and segmentation accuracy. This means all formatting is now retained during the translation process.
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