5 Questions with Louise Irwin


This week, we are very excited to introduce you to Louise Irwin, Marketing Manager at KantanMT. Our ongoing ‘5 Questions’ series will give you a better insight into the thoughts and ideas of the people at KantanMT. Please feel free to add your questions in the comments section, if you would like them to be answered by Louise. Continue reading

Fun with Language at Dublin Culture Night

Culture Night 2016 KantanMT

A few of us from KantanMT went to the annual Culture Night in Ireland and ended up having an absolute blast. Since we are interested in everything to do with languages, we of course decided to go to the Dublin Language Garden and the Translation is Fun! events arranged by linguists at the Trinity Long Room Hub (TLR) in Dublin.

As a part of the Culture Night, TLR arranged these two language-related events, which saw a great turnout and were a huge success with the visitors. Seeing as all our readers are interested in language and translation, we decided to share some of the highlights from the evening with you. Continue reading

A Big Thank You to Everyone Involved in the Coastal Flag Challenge for Translators without Borders


Last weekend one of the most important things we discovered is that folks working in the language industry are some of the coolest, smartest, most fun-loving yet hard-working people. They are also extremely generous. After attending the LavaCon and LocWorld31 Conferences, teams and members from various companies all around the world took up the Coastal Flag Challenge to hike along the Howth trail to raise money for Translators without Borders (TWB), a non-profit organisation that works to close critical language gaps that hinder humanitarian efforts worldwide. They support the work of hundreds of organisations in the areas of crisis relief, health and education. Continue reading

LocWorld is coming to town and we are organising a charity coastal hike to remember

Howth_bought.jpegIn the morning of 11 June, 2016, KantanMT and LocWorld will kick-off the Howth Coastal Flag Challenge and Treasure Hunt, to raise money for Translators without Borders. A number of companies including Lionbridge, Vistatec, Matrix and MultiLingual have already signed up to join this charity hike, which promises to be a fun-filled, activity-centric and dynamic event. Continue reading

5 Innovative Companies to Look out for at RBTE 2016

RBTE 2016 320x320

This month is going to be very busy and exciting for innovators in the retail as well as entertainment industry. Between, RTBE Expo in London (9-10 March) and South by Southwest Festival in Austin (11-20 March), there’s a lot going on in terms of innovation and industry knowledge sharing.

The KantanMT team is looking forward to exhibiting at stand #982 during the annual RBTE 2016 and meeting new and established eCommerce companies at the event, we decided to create our own list of 5 companies, which are sure to make an impact in the retail industry. These companies are young, innovative, and they understand the evolving needs of the industry.

Continue reading

KantanMT is Attending the South by Southwest Interactive Festival: Why are we excited?

sxsw-pr_320x320Enterprise Ireland is again showcasing the best Irish technology and innovation at the 21st annual South by Southwest (SXSW) festival between March 11-20, 2016 in Austin, Texas – and we are excited!

So, why are we excited? Continue reading

Intelligent Content Distribution is Important – But How Intelligently are you Producing Your Content?

The future of content production, distribution and consumption is here. With the number of websites at 949,891,800 as of the time of publication of this blog, and increasing every second, the importance of developing structured content and its distribution has become more important than eArtificial Intelver. It is no coincidence that in the 2015 tcworld Conference held in Stuttgart, Germany, one of the main themes of discussion is Intelligent Information management.

The speakers will present on the “megatrend of our time” where content needs to cater to “smart” users through “smart” services and not “just” products. As a result of this new trend, companies need to step up to the challenge and provide users with individualised information at the right time, in the right place and in the medium of their choice. Tekom calls this the “Intelligent Information Initiative – in3.” Before talking a bit more about what Intelligent Content is all about, it is important to remember that while the structure of the content is incredibly important, it is also equally important to have content that’s relevant, reusable and above all, targeted to the “smart” users that companies aim to attract.

To know more about the speakers for this theme and the topics being presented, have a look at the tcworld conference schedule.

What’s Intelligent Content?

So what is intelligent content, and how can businesses effectively manage their content to get their products and services to market faster, without having to create new content for each new platform or medium.

Intelligent content adopts digital texts and multimedia with coding. This allows the coded content to be automatically processed for being accessed across various devises and interface.

The Intelligent bit is created by removing the formatting and adding metadata, which summarises the information related to the data. This makes finding and reusing the data/ content much easier. The metadata adds information to segments of the content, which in turn makes the content easy to be disseminated, discovered and reused by businesses.

Ann Rockley of the Rockley group fame has spoken in depth about Intelligent Content development in her work Managing Enterprise Content and she describes the importance of adopting the structure of intelligent content as follows:

Intelligent content enables automated multi-channel delivery, adaptive content, improved content discovery, and personalized content delivery in an agile world. But the power of your content to respond to tight timelines, new customer requirements, and increasing costs is based on the quality of your intelligent content strategy

It is this “quality” of content strategy that will either make you a leader in your industry or slow you down from being able to be the first to bring your product to market. If you are taking your “smart” services and products to users across the globe, or even starting your content strategy from scratch, it is important that you structure your content. This will not only make it easy to reuse and tag, but will also be extremely helpful for you when you have to get your content localized and translated into the languages of the markets you want to penetrate.

Structured content is incredibly suited to Machine Translation. And a quality (intelligent) content strategy should always plan ahead for the need of localization in the future. Even if your business is just starting off, you should begin planning your content strategy intelligently because an unstructured website can escalate into an unmanageable mess very quickly.

The real success of a company’s content strategy is knowing how and where it is consumed. Luckily the ‘always on’ availability of content means anyone can access information regardless of nationality and geographical location. If a company is serious about its content strategy, then it will put a process in place to create multilingual content that can be distributed to a multilingual audience.

Including Machine Translation into your Translation and localization Workflow will make it easier to translate more content, faster than traditional human only workflows. When your MT engine is integrated into your content management workflow, translations for your structured content can be sent to your global websites seamlessly, with minimal manual intervention.

Thanks to high success rates KantanMT has working with Structured Content, we believe that integrating Machine Translation into the workflow and planning an “quality” Intelligent Content Strategy go hand in hand.

Meet us at booth 2/A09 during the tekom trade fair and tcworld conference between 10th aTc Worldbd 12th November to learn more about Custom Machine Translation and how it can fit in your intelligent content production workflow.

We have a few  FREE Tekom Fair tickets to give away, so to be in with a chance to win, send an email to marketing@kantanmt.comwith ‘FREE Ticket’ in the subject line and we will add you to a draw. Winners will be notified by email.

KantanMT Team Uncovers Hidden Talents in Dublin Treasure Trail

Last Friday, the KantanMT team uncovered some hidden vocal talents of their members while hunting through the Dublin streets for a treasure trail organised by Techies4TempleStreet. One of the challenges of the event included busking in the famed Grafton Street in Dublin’s busy tourist district – and boy did our team shine! Below is a short tweet of Dimitar Shterionov and Riccardo Superbo strumming to the famous Proud Mary tune – and by the end, the crowed joined in as well.

The busking event, which saw a number of other teams singing as well, collected a total of €300 for the charity. Around 800 techies from start-ups in Ireland and multinationals companies took to the streets of Dublin to take part in the city’s first charity tech treasure trail, organised by Techies4TempleStreet (T4TS) to raise money for Temple Street, Ireland’s National Children’s Hospital, and to be named Ireland’s “Smartest Techies.”. The KantanMT team was thrilled to take part in this fun-filled event and be able to raise money for such a great cause at the same time. As Louise Quinn, Technical Project Manager of KantanMT put it:

No self-respecting techie could turn down a challenge to nerd-out competitively while raising money for an extremely worthwhile cause!

The atmosphere around town on Friday was vibrant, with great Irish weather, and a number of Techies dressed in the T4TS T-shirts were seen running around the city, competing to uncover the clues before the other teams. The event was kicked off with some inspiring introductions from Tom Kennedy, Chairman of T4TS and Denise Fitzgerald, CEO Temple Street Foundation, after which the teams that raised the most funds were led into the town in cheerfully coloured tuk-tuks.

With not a moment to lose, the KantanMT team went around some of the most popular as well as some of the lesser known landmarks in town including Stephens Green, College Green and the (in)famous Temple Bar area to collect clues for the challenge. The treasure trail was interspersed with tasks that needed to be posted on Twitter, which included having to do a Riverdance or the Hakka! Hilarity by the KantanMT team and other team ensues below:

House_of_lordsAfter searching for and dancing with the King of Rock and Roll and getting into some serious and bloody Viking wars, the team got serious about covering as much ground in town as possible and finding out answers to the location-specific questions –  for example, we had to find out what mythological animals can be seen on the House of Lords (we went to the Startup Gathering and found out we had answered right!). Or do you know who founded the Famine memorial and the Wolfe Tone memorial in Stephens Green? We do now!

Finally, after an evening filled with activity, all teams went back to the RDS for some well-deserved complimentary beers and food, where Corvil, an IT data analytics company was announced the winner amidst rousing cheer. The Rugby World Cup fans had a field day with Reggie Corrigan on the stage, answering questions about Ireland’s chance of winning the coveted Cup.

Amidst all the fun, we didn’t forget about our first passion: Translation!

If all the fun and revelry above made you think we forgot our commitment to Machine Translation, you would be wrong! A mere 24 hours later, the KantanMT team reached yet another milestone by translating a whopping 1 billion words in just 12 days, bringing the total translated word count on the platform to more than 4 billion words. Here’s a quick statistic while you ponder:

Number of KantanMT engines built: 7,783

Number of Training Words: 143,078,042,293

Number of Translated Words: 4,255,900,914


We will leave you with a last Twitter feed by T4TS, which shows all the happy Techies – confident in the idea that we all put our best foot forward to make this charity event a rousing success, and helped raise money as well as awareness for the children at Temple Street.

To view more Tweets from the event, follow @Techies4TS. If you competed in the challenge and would like us to share the pictures taken at the event, drop us a mail at info@kantanmt.com. If you are interested in helping the children at Temple Street, drop a mail at information@cuh.ie. In the meantime, don’t forget to follow us @KantanMT.

Objective of the Charity

Temple Street is Ireland’s leading National Children’s Hospital. Every year, more than 145,000 extraordinary children rely on the lifesaving care provided at Temple Street. For many, it’s a lifeline. For others, it’s the place that makes them better.

Temple Street is the national centre of excellence for paediatric Neurology and Renal Dialysis & Transplantation. Over the next two years we have a goal to raise €5million for one of our most ambitious redevelopment projects yet – a new Renal and Neurology Outpatients Unit. This new unit is long overdue – it is not a luxury – it is a necessity that is needed for the best patient care. To accommodate both of these areas we plan to construct a new two storey building above our existing Outpatients Area with a designated floor for each.

The Neurology Department currently operates out of what was once an attic making it a very cramped environment for patients suffering from complex disorders such as Epilepsy, Cerebral Palsy and brain disorders. On any given day there could be 80 staff, patients and family members on the ward pressing upon its very limited and exhausted facilities. This new build will increase capacity and provide additional clinical rooms and an adequate waiting room and patient play area.

The second floor of the building will be occupied by the Renal Department and offer additional outpatient facilities for children with kidney problems. Having a new child friendly environment for both Neurology and Renal will make a huge difference to patients and families, giving them much needed space and privacy.

Techies4TempleStreet is aiming to generate over €100k in the first year of the event with a goal for this to occur each year generating an annual income for Temple Street Children’s Hospital.

The ATC Conference 2015: Speaking in the MT Language

An avid sports fan, Tony KantanMT’s Founder and Chief Architect is very excited about aManU stadiumttending the Association of Translation Companies (ATC) conference this year because it takes place at Old Trafford, Manchester United Football Club’s world famous stadium (24-25 September 2015). However, between all the events, talks, meeting with the innovative industry leaders and attending award ceremonies, Tony might have very little time for a stadium tour. So it’s a good thing that he loves MT and the language industry more, and won’t miss the tour too much!

Tony has his plate full in the conference, which spreads over two days. He will be presenting a Master Class and a paper during the plenary session of the conference, and will also attend the evening award ceremony where he has been nominated in two categories – Project Manager of the Year category and for Outstanding Contribution to the Language Industry. If you are attending the conference, please say hello to Tony or simply cheer him on – he would love that!

Read about the nominations from ATC here. Below are the details of Tony’s talks in the conference and a teaser of a new stand-alone product that he is going to announce during the event!

Day 1: Masterclass, 09.00 – 11.00AM: How to use Machine Translation to Improve Translation Productivity
A commercially available and highly customisable Machine Translation (MT) workflow will undoubtedly increase translation productivity. However, the actual implementation of this sophisticated technology can sometimes seem challenging for Language Service Providers (LSPs) – Tony shows that KantanMT_qualityoptimising MT for your workflow does not have to be challenging at all. In fact, he demonstrates how MT can actually simplify the translation cycle and reduce effort.

After educating participants on the best way to implement MT in the translation workflow, Tony will introduce the audience to a tool that can improve MT engines with the help of professional translators. This collaborative project management tool can be accessed and deployed on a secure online platform, benefiting from the flexibility, power and immense security of the cloud.

It allows Project Managers to streamline the language quality review (LQR) process across locations and time zones by efficiently allocating reviewers to a project, and gaining real-time visibility into the progress of each reviewer as well as monitoring the quality and accuracy of the translated content. The transparent progress report accessed through this tool helps Project Managers create precise project effort-estimations and timelines, collate translator feedback and improve the MT engine quality.

To know more about when you can plug this new tool into your MT workflow, drop us a mail at demo@kantanmt.com or simply mail us at info@kantanmt.com and make an appointment with Tony for a coffee and a chat.


Day 2: Plenary Talk, 11.45 – 12.10 PM: Achieving Translation Scalability in an Era of Continuous Content Co-Creation

Session chair: Ruth Partington, R P Translate

In today’s fast-pace world of the Internet, ‘content-boom’ and ‘content-explosions’ are not merely buzzwords, but a business reality that enterprises face every day. With this organically growing content online, the need for translating this content for the consumption of global customers has become inevitable.

While this has opened up endless possibilities for those creating and consuming content, it has also created new challenges for the Language Service Providers (LSPs) responsible for translating and localizing all that content. Scaling translation workflows to meet the multilingual consumption demands, coupled with tight deadlines has led to many LSPs embracing and integrating MT solutions into their workflow.

Automated translation stands out as an efficient, reliable solution and ensures that LSPs can produce more translation, without losing out on the quality that defines their brand. New innovations in machine translation technology mean that MT can be used both as a tool to facilitate professional translators, but also provides a stand-alone tool capable of translating large volumes of content quickly – especially when the usefulness of the translated documents is more important than the accuracy of the content.

Tim Walters in his Forrester blog about MT succulently sums up the need for MT in the language industry:

The internet makes machine translation inevitable… raw output from machine translations is playing a larger role on web sites… MT plus post-editing reduces the cost of human-quality translations… MT drives global business and global business drives MT

Tony, in this presentation will demonstrate through client use cases how LSPs have carried out successful translation projects by using the dynamically scalable powers of MT engines. The final aim of this presentation is to demonstrate once again that integrating MT in translation workflows will not only increase productivity and allow project managers to deliver projects on time, but is also the only way forward when it comes to projects with a high velocity of industry-specific worlds.

To know more about KantanMT, or to arrange a meeting with Tony for a coffee and a chat at the conference, send an email to info@kantanmt.com. message on twitter @KantanMT.

About Tony O’Dowd

TonyTony O’Dowd is the Founder and Chief Architect of the Irish-owned KantanMT.com, a cloud-based statistical machine translation platform. He was the founder and CEO of Alchemy Software Development, the creators of Alchemy CATALYST. Tony has over 25 years of experience in the localization industry. He has a BSc in computer science from Trinity College, Dublin, and a Fellowship from the University of Limerick. Previously a Chairman of LISA and member of the governance board of the CNGL Centre for Global Intelligent Content at Dublin City University, Tony’s new research focus is on Statistical Machine Translation systems and how they can improve translation productivity.

Translation Machines in Sci-fi

Richard Brooks, CEO, K International KantanMT
Richard Brooks, CEO, K International

This blog post was written by Richard Brooks. He’s a firm believer that life imitates art, CEO of the UK-based LSP K International, a company specialising in translation services for the legal industry and director of the Association of Language Companies.

Translation Machines in Sci-fi

In science fiction, translation of the potentially infinite number of languages spoken by alien species presents a dilemma. How to deal with communication between interplanetary species without resorting to contrivance, or spending the first twenty minutes of each episode’s dialogue clumsily showing characters learning one another’s diphthongs?

The notion of a ‘universal translator’ emanated from Murray Leinster’s novella First Contact, published in 1945 (and clearly that isn’t the only debt Gene Roddenberry owes to Leinster). It’s a greatly helpful – borderline miraculous, in fact – convention of sci-fi: a technological solution to the language barrier, leaving more time for the actual narrative to unfold in one language, typically English.

With the incredible advancements in technology we’re witnessing at the moment such as Microsoft’s pilots of a Skype Translator and the industry leading work KantanMT is achieving in this area, are we seeing the beginnings of live translation – well ahead of Star Trek’s 22nd century deadline? In the meantime, let’s take a look at five of sci-fi’s finest translation machines, which beat anything real-life technology can offer – for now.

KantanMT Blog, Universal Translator

1. Star Trek: Universal Translator

An important part of Star Trek’s near-utopian vision of the future is the Universal Translator. Translating any language into another even while a person is speaking, this exceptionally handy tool means Starfleet craft in any quadrant of the galaxy can speak to new life and new civilizations without confusion.

Voiced by Star Trek creator Roddenberry’s widow Majel Barrett until her death in 2008, the development of a universal translator was, in the Trek universe, a portent of Earth’s cultures achieving universal peace. It’s difficult to imagine Google Translate having the same impact.

This convenient concept has been often copied, and occasionally parodied: in Futurama, everyone in the universe speaks English, rendering Professor Farnworth’s one successful invention – a translation device – useless, as it merely translates English into the dead language, French!

2. The Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy: the Babel Fish

Some sci-fi plays with the concept in less serious ways. In Douglas Adams’ H2G2, to help Arthur Dent deal in some small way with anything that goes on around him, inserted into his ear is a Babel Fish, memorably described by the Guide as “small, yellow, leechlike and probably the oddest thing in the universe.”

The science (such as it is) behind the Babel Fish is that it can absorb the frequencies of outside speakers, and a translation is secreted by the fish into the hearer’s brain via his or her ear canal. In a witty reversal of Star Trek’s idealistic Federation, Adams reveals that, by allowing everyone to understand one another, the Babel Fish has actually caused more war than anything else in the universe.

3. Farscape: Translator microbes

In science fiction, as in reality, it is the individual idiosyncrasies of languages which are trickiest to master. When people in the UK from a hundred miles apart may speak different languages, not to mention a range of different dialects and accents, can auditory translation really be so smooth?

One series to acknowledge this is Farscape, where astronaut John Crichton is injected with bacteria-sized ‘translator microbes’, which are injected into – and colonise – his brain. The microbes work to make their host understand any spoken information in any language – except idioms are translated literally. This leads to a great deal of confusion for John, and opportunities for humour for the audience (all jokes are language, after all) – and also perhaps renders these microbes a more realistically-limited translator technology.

4. Doctor Who: The TARDIS’ Translation Circuit

As well as being telepathically linked with the Doctor, and granting the ability to travel to any time or place in history and the future, the TARDIS’ telepathic field is used to automatically translate what the Doctor and any companions hear or read into a language which they can understand.

While wonderfully convenient, the mind-meld involved does mean that the translation circuits won’t actually work when the Doctor is unconscious – not an outright impossibility. Also, because translations are time specific, ancient civilization won’t understand neologisms – and, neatly, the Romans have never heard the word ‘volcano’ – because they’ve not lived to see an eruption.

5. Star Wars: C-3PO

Luke Skywalker is the ultimate sci-fi everyman: he is every bit as much in need of a guide to the universe he finds himself in as the viewing audience are. Reinforcing this are his guides, C-3PO and R2D2, who Luke needs with him – despite their obvious drawbacks as travelling companions – because C-3PO is programmed with millions of languages, everything from Ewok to R2’s bleeps and whistles.

When the franchise returns with The Force Awakens later this year (which most fans will rightly consider the fourth, rather than seventh, Star Wars movie), C-3PO’s translation abilities are sure to make him at least partially useful to have around.

The KantanMT team say a big Thank You to Richard for a very savvy post on translation machines in science fiction.

Richard (@RichardMBrooks) will join Tony O’Dowd, (@TonyODowd1) KantanMT Founder and Chief Architect alongside other Language industry heavyweights at the ATC Annual Conference in the Old Trafford Stadium on 24th and 25th September 2015. Register here to attend the conference. 

KantanMT at ATC Conference

If you want to learn more about Machine Translation, send us email (info@kantanmt.com) with your questions and we will be happy to answer them!