2016: Our Year in Review

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Last year, while walking down the memory lane, we made an almost clairvoyant comment. We said,

“we can’t wait to start working on everything that we have planned for 2016 – we are certain that the new year is going to be even more exciting for us.”

And boy, has it been exciting! We have done so much – been to so many places! Between creating brilliant new features, researching the next level of technology innovation, accepting awards, making new partnerships, raising money for charity and attending trade fairs, shows and seminars, the team here at KantanMT has been busier than Santa’s little elves this year! Continue reading

Interview with Language Industry Veteran and GALA Executive Director – Laura Brandon

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It’s coming to the end of a successful year and we are beginning to look back on our partnerships. We understand that being part of a network of experts, practitioners, solution providers and thought leaders is a very powerful tool for success. So, we were delighted catch up with Laura Brandon, Executive Director for the Globalization and Localization Association (GALA) to find out more about GALA, its purpose, benefits of membership and future plans. Continue reading

Sending our Appreciation to all Translators and Linguists

On this #InternationalTranslationDay, we would like to send our appreciation to all the hard-working translators and linguists who are helping people break global borders and communicate with other. But their contribution goes beyond just helping people get content in their own languages. As translators and linguists, they are  spreading love and saving lives. Continue reading

5 Questions with Laura Casanellas

Laura Casanellas KantanMT

Have you ever wondered who are people behind KantanMT?

We are thrilled to announce a series of posts where we will give 5 questions to each of our team members. These questions will delve a little deeper into their thoughts about technology, language and personal interests!

We are delighted to introduce Laura Casanellas, who bravely accepted the challenge of going first.

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

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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

Machine Translation Trend in 2016: The Age of Automatic Workflows and More Collaboration

2016Trends_1_ImageKantanMT recently published a brand-new white paper on what global companies can expect to see in 2016 for Machine Translation (MT). The MT industry is rapidly changing and moulding itself to the technical needs and globalization requirements of the present day. Our white paper puts forward six major MT trends that all businesses need to KNOW in order to stay relevant and ahead of their competitors.

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A Trip down Memory Lane: KantanMT in 2015

KantanMT Year in ReviewWhile chatting over a mouthful of mince pies, some tourtière and a few classy glasses of mulled wine this week, we at KantanMT were suddenly struck by the realisation that 2015 was perhaps one of the most sensational, successful and eventful years for us in the company! And the fact is, we can’t wait to start working on everything that we have planned for 2016 – we are certain that the new year is going to be even more exciting for us.

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All your Burning Questions Answered! How Machine Translation Helps Improve Translation Productivity (Part I)

Part I

We had so many questions during the Q&A in our last webinar session ‘How to Improve Translation Productivity‘ by the KantanMT Professional services team, that we decided to split the answers into two blog posts. So, if you don’t find your questions answered here, check out our blog next week for the remaining answers. 

KantanMT_ComputersInternet today is experiencing what is generally referred to as a ‘content explosion!’ In this fast-paced world, businesses have to strive harder and do more to stay ahead of the game – especially if they are a global business or if they have globalization aspirations. One fool-proof way in which a business can successfully go global is through effective localization. Yet, the huge amount of content available online makes human translation for everything almost impossible. The only viable option then in today’s competitive online environment is through the use of Machine Translation (MT).

On Wednesday 21st October, Tony O’Dowd, Chief Architect of KantanMT.com and Louise Faherty, Technical Project Manager at KantanMT presented a webinar where they showed how Language Service Providers (LSPs)  (as well as enterprises) can improve the translation productivity of the team, manage post-editing effort and easily schedule projects with powerful MT engines. Here is a link to the recording of the webinar on YouTube along with a transcript of the Q&A session.

The answers below are not recorded verbatim and minor edits have been made to make the text more readable.

Question: Do you have clients doing Japanese to English MT? What are the results, and how did you get them? (i.e., do you pre-process the Japanese?)

Answer (Tony O’Dowd): English to Japanese Machine Translation (MT) has indeed always posed a challenge in the MT industry. So is it possible to build a high quality, high fidelity MT system for this language combination? Well, there have been quite a few developments recently to improve the prospect of building effective engines in this language combination. For example, one of the latest changes we made on the KantanMT platform for improving the quality of MT is by using new and improved reordering models to make the translation from English to Japanese and Japanese to English much smoother, so we deliver a higher quality output. In addition to that, higher quality training data sets are now available for this language pair, compared to a couple of years ago, when I had started building English to Japanese engines. Back then it was really challenging. It is still requires some effort to build English to Japanese MT engines, but the fact that there’s more content available in these languages makes it slightly easier for us to build high-quality engines.

We are also developing example-based MT for these engines and it so far this is showing encouraging signs of improving quality for this language pair. However, we have not started deploying this development on the platform yet.

KantanMT note: For more insights into how you can prepare high-quality training data, read these tips shared by Tony O’Dowd, and Selçuk Özcan, co-founder of Transistent Language Automation Services during the webinar ‘Tips for Preparing Training Data for High Quality MT.’

Question: Have you got a webinar recorded or scheduled, where we could see how the system works hands-on?

Answer (Tony O’Dowd): If you go on to the KantanMT website, we have video links on the product features pages. So you can actually watch an explanation video while you are looking at the component.

We work in a very visual environment, and we think videos are a great way of explaining how the platform works. And, if you go on to the website, on the bottom left corner of the page, you will find our YouTube channel, which contains videos on all sorts of topics, including how to build your first enginehow to translate your first document and  how to improve the output of your engines.

If you click on the Resources menu on our site, you can access a number of tutorials that will talk you through the basics of Statistical Machine Translation Systems. In other words, explore the website and you should find what you need.

KantanMT note: Some other useful links for resources are listed below:

Question: Do you provide any Post-Editing recommendations or standards for standardising the PE process? You said translation productivity rose to 8k words per day – this is only PE, correct?

Answer (Tony O’Dowd): I will take the second question first! The 8,000 words per day is the Post-Editing (PE) rate, yes. It is not the raw translation rate. In Machine Translation, everything comes out pretranslated. So this number refers to the Post-Editing effort – like insertions, deletions, substitution of words, and so on that you need to do to get the content to publishable quality.

Louise Faherty: What we recommend to our clients is that when it comes to PE, they should try to use MT. A lot of translators who are new to using MT will try and translate manually, which is a natural tendency, of course. But what we advise our clients is to copy and paste the translation (MT) in the engine and use the MT. The more you use MT and the more you Post-Edit, the better your engine will become.

Tony O’Dowd: I will add something to Louise Faherty ’s comments there. The best example of PE recommendations that I have come across is provided by a group called TAUS. They are at the pivot of educating the industry on how to develop a proficiency in PE.

Subscribe to TAUS YouTube channel here.

Question: What do ‘PPX’ and ‘PEX’ stand for (as abbreviations)?

Answer (Louise Faherty  and Tony O’Dowd): PEX stands for Post-Editing Automation. PEX allows you to take the output of an MT engine and dynamically alter that. When would you need to use PEX? Suppose there is a situation where your engine is repeating the same error over and over again. What you can do in such cases is write a PEX file (developed in the GENTRY programming language). This allows the engine to look for patterns in the output of the engine and to dynamically change that in the output.

For example, one of our French clients did not want to have a space preceding a colon mark in the output of their MT (because this was one of their typographical standards and repeated throughout the content). So we wrote a PEX rule that forced a stylistic change in the output of the engine. This enabled the client to reduce the number of Post-Edits substantially.

PPX stands for Preprocessor automation. You can use PPX files for to normalise or improve the training data. It is based on our GENTRY programming language which is available to all our clients for free.

In short then, PPX is for your training data, while PEX is for the actual raw output of your engine.

For more questions and answers, stay tuned for the next part of this post!

LocWorld28 Berlin – Kindle Voyage up for Grabs from KantanMT

KantanMT LocWorld ExhibitorIt’s that time of year again and the European edition of the LocWorld conference kicks off this week from 3-5 June at the Maritim Hotel in Berlin, Germany. KantanMT are exhibiting at Stand #17.

For anyone unfamiliar with the conference, it is considered The marketplace of the language industry and is hosted by Multilingual magazine and the Localization Institute. Its purpose is to be the place where everyone from the language industry can get together to network, build business relationships and learn from industry peers.

If you haven’t registered already, check out the full program and you will see a great line up of sessions, roundtables and workshops to suit all areas within the localization industry.

The KantanMT team have spent the last couple of weeks preparing for the LocWorld conference and we have some great giveaways planned. As part of the LocWorld Prize draw visitors to the KantanMT Stand at #17 can drop their business cards in the big blue bowl to be in with a chance to win a brand new Kindle Voyage. The Voyage is Amazon’s thinnest Kindle yet and has a high-resolution 300 ppi display and a new adaptive front light.

KantanMT Giveaway

We only have one Kindle Voyage to give away, but fret not, as there is plenty of KantanMT.com branded merchandise up for grabs, including polo-shirts, 4GB USB flash drives and pens.

Tony O’Dowd, KantanMT’s Founder and Chief Architect will be available meet with attendees interested in learning about machine translation. Stop by booth #17, or send an email to info@kantanmt.com to arrange a one-on-one with Tony.

Tony will also be speaking at two sessions:

And, when it’s all over, if anyone has time to see the city for the weekend or even just a few hours on Friday before returning home. Here is a list of the top 10 must see Berlin sights!

  1. Berlin Wall
  2. Holocaust Memorial
  3. The Berlin Zoological Garden
  4. Reichstag
  5. Brandenburg Gate
  6. Museum Island
  7. Berlin Cathedral
  8. Checkpoint Charlie
  9. Humboldt Universitaet
  10. Berliner Fernsehturm (Berlin TV Tower)

For all those walkers, if the weather is good, these sights can be seen via the Sandemans free walking tour, which departs daily from East Berlin at 11 AM and 2 PM at the Brandenburg Gate.

Finally, anyone interested in learning more about KantanMT that has not registered for the conference can contact us to get a FREE guest pass to the exhibition hall for a couple of hours to meet the KantanMT team.

We hope to see you in Berlin!

Translation Quality: How to Deal with It?

KantanMTSelcuk Ozcan, Transistent, KantanMT started the New Year on a high note with the addition of the Turkish Language Service Provider, Transistent to the KantanMT Preferred MT Supplier partner program.

Selçuk Özcan, Transistent’s Co-founder has given KantanMT permission to publish his blog post on Translation Quality. This post was originally published in Dragosfer and the Transistent Blog.

 

 

Literally, the word quality has several meanings, one of them being “a high level of value or excellence” according to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary. How should one deal with this idea of “excellence” when the issue at hand is translation quality? What is required, it looks like, is a more pragmatic and objective answer to the abovementioned question.

This brings us to the question “how could an approach be objective?” Certainly, the issue should be assessed through empirical findings. But how? We are basically in need of an assessment procedure with standardized metrics. Here, we encounter another issue; standardization of translation quality. From now on, we need to associate these concepts with the context itself in order to make them clear.

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Monolingual issues

Bilingual issues

As it’s widely known, three sets of factors have an effect on the quality of the translation process in general. Basically, analyzing source text’s monolingual issues, target text’s monolingual issues and bilingual issues defines the quality of the work done. Nevertheless, the procedure should be based on the requirements of the domain, audience and linguistic structure of both languages (source and target); and in each step, this key question should be considered: ‘Does the TT serve to the intended purpose?’

We still have not dealt with the standardization and quality of acceptable TT’s. The concept of “acceptable translation” has always been discussed throughout the history of translation studies. No one is able to precisely explain the requirements. However, a further study on dynamic QA models needs to go into details.There are various QA approaches and models. For most of them, acceptable translation falls into somewhere between bad and good quality, depending on the domain and target audience. The quality level is measured through the translation error rates developed to assess MT outputs (BLEU, F-Measure and TER) and there are four commonly accepted quality levels; bad, acceptable, good and excellent.

The formula is so simple: the TT containing more errors is considered to be worse quality. However, the errors should be correlated with the context and many other factors, such as importance for the client, expectations of the audience and so on. These factors define the errors’ severity as minor, major, and critical. A robust QA model should be based upon accurate error categorization so that reliable results may be obtained.

We tried to briefly describe the concept of QA modeling. Now, let’s see what’s going on in practice. There are three publicly available QA models which inspired many software developers on their QA tool development processes. One of them is LISA (Localization Industry Standards Association) QA Model. The LISA Model is very well known in the localization and translation industry and many company-specific QA models have been derived from it.

The second one is J2450 standard that was generated by SAE (Society for Automotive Engineers) and the last one is EN15038 standard, approved by CEN (Comité Européen de Normalisation) in 2006. All of the above mentioned models are the static QA models. One should create his/her own frameworks in compliance with the demands of the projects. Nowadays, many of the institutes have been working on dynamic QA models (EU Commission and TAUS). These models enable creating different metrics for several translation/localization projects.

About Selçuk Özcan

Selçuk Özcan has more than 5 years’ experience in the language industry and is a co-founder of Transistent Language Automation Services. He holds degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Translation Studies and has a keen interest in linguistics, NLP, language automation procedures, agile management and technology integration. Selçuk is mainly responsible for building high quality production models including Quality Estimation and deploying the ‘train the trainers’ model. He also teaches Computer-aided Translation and Total Quality Management at the Istanbul Yeni Yuzyil University, Translation & Interpreting Department.

Read More about KantanMT’s Partnership with Transistent in the official News Release, or if you are interested in joining the KantanMT Partner Program, contact Louise (info@kantanmt.com) for more details on how to get involved. 

Transistent KantanMT Preferred MT Supplier