Working with KantanMT as a TY Student

Peter Coyle, a Transition Year student from Blackrock College spent a week at KantanMT, learning about the language and localization industry and the KantanMT technology. We were delighted to have him in our office and really appreciated the hard work he put in during his time here. While Peter had a packed schedule over the week, he found some time to blog about his TY work experience with us. Read his opinion about KantanMT, the ever-changing world of technology and his key takeaways from the work experience.

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Student Speak: Using MT for Game Localization

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Giulia Mattoni, an Italian Translation Technology student from DCU talks about her experience using Machine Translation for evaluating player support content localization. Giulia’s fascinating view illustrates why this area needs further research, and how she used KantanMT to evaluate MT and post-editing for this type content. Continue reading

An Evaluation of SMT in Medical Context

Master’s student Ewa Nitoń of the University College London submitted her thesis as part of the MSc degree in Scientific, Technical and Medical Translation with Translation Technology. The following guest article is a reflection on her research concerning the application of Machine Translation in medical context. Ewa was supervised by Teaching Fellow and Lecturer Dr. Emmanouela Patiniotaki and she used KantanMT.com for her MSc research. Continue reading

My TY Work Experience at KantanMT

St. Joseph's Navan

Amy Barter, a Transition Year Student from St. Josephs Mercy Navan spent this week learning about Machine Translation while on her TY Work Experience, 14 – 18 November 2016. We were delighted to have her in the office and really appreciated all her great help. She even had some time to blog about her experience. Continue reading

Interview with Nikos on Cross-Language Information Retrieval

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Nikos Katris, submitted his thesis; ‘Evaluation of Two Statistical Machine Translation Systems within a Greek-English Cross-Language Information Retrieval Architecture’ to University of Limerick  in October 2015. In his research he compared the results of KantanMT with the Moses system for information retrieval.

Nikos was supervised by Dr Richard Sutcliffe at the University of Limerick’s College of Science and Engineering Department of Computer Science and Information Systems (CSIS). Nikos kindly agreed to discuss his research in an interview. The University of Limerick and the Localisation Research Centre are KantanMT’s academic partners. Continue reading

The Secrets of Translating like a Well-Oiled Machine

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The Rosetta stone paradigm translations. Hans Hillewaert Wikimedia (CC)

This article is written by José Pichel Andrés and was originally published in Spanish in the online journal, El Español. It has been translated into English by Carlos Collantes from the Professional Services team at KantanMT. The article has been edited slightly for readability, but we have made all attempts possible to retain the original flavour of José’s article.

Read the article in Spanish here.

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Researchers today are redefining Machine Translation. Though it is still a far cry from being completely satisfactory, it displays a rapid development, thanks to new systems like Neural Networks. Continue reading

Guest Post: Mike Miranda – The Importance of Self Service with Data Discovery Tools

Business IntelligenceWhen we’re talking about Business Intelligence, self-service is an approach to data analytics that plays a vital and extremely beneficial role within an enterprise because it allows for immediate decision making.  No-wait decision-making is a enormous contributor for a company’s bottom-line.  Self-service allows business users to retrieve, interact and collaborate with company information without having to rely on IT assistance.

Thanks to self-service, IT personnel can focus their energy on more large-scale responsibilities that benefit the entire enterprise, like setting up the data warehouse and data marts underpinning the BI system, for example, while other team-members can work more strategically and efficiently. Quality data preparation tools are imperative to the independence of business users and integrated tools allow users to operate, analyze, change and calculate data sets quickly using GUI’s to alternate between data prep and visualization screens with just one click.

BI is becoming more intertwined with self-service which should be no surprise since it enables data analysis to be more streamlined and keeps companies optimally responsive, efficient and agile.  Self-service data-discovery tools allow decision-makers to tap into the information they require which enhances their success.  Self-service also helps a company to realize reduced administrative burdens, shortened timelines and the emergence of deeper insights.

Self-service acts as an enterprise’s coveted ally for several reasons:

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Student Speak: UCL Student on Using KantanMT.com

UCL_Portico_BuildingAs 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.

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University Speak: Translation Technology with UCL Senior Lecturer, Mark Shuttleworth

KantanMT has an ongoing University_College_London,_by_William_Wilkins.jpgAcademic Partnership with Centre for Multidisciplinary and Intercultural Inquiry (CMII) at University College London to accelerate research and learning in the field of Machine Translation (MT). The postgraduate students of the department were able to use the KantanMT platform to update or gain new skills in Translation Technology. With help of the KantanMT platform, the students learnt how to build and customise their own Statistical Machine Translation (SMT) systems in a real world scenario.

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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!