Drawing the old year to a close is always a bit bittersweet, and hence the nostalgic tradition of marking the new year with a chorus of “Auld Lang Syne.” And then we turn and look forward, toasting, in this case, 2012 -— a leap year that happens to be eschatologically interesting, which has also been designated Alan Turing Year, after the mathematician and computer science pioneer, on the centennial of his birth.
So what better way to start out this new year of MultiLingual than by discussing the future of language technology? Hassan Sawaf and Jonathan Litchman start out this issue’s focus by talking about advancements in one of the longtime fantasies of anyone drifting into dreamland in the world of language technology -— machine interpretation. Next, Andrejs Vasiļjevs and Indra Sāmīte discuss machine translation (MT) challenges for less-resourced languages such as Latvian and provide a study on creating a Latvian MT system. Then Enrique Cavalitto details the new ProZ.com translation platform for Translators without Borders, which allows nonprofit clients to directly interface with volunteer freelancers with very little middle-man project management. Benjamin B. Sargent and Vijayalaxmi Hegde provide ten steps for translation management system selection, depending on your particular bent as a language service provider — who you are and what you’re looking to provide. Meta S. Brown looks at cross-lingual text analytics and why businesses should care, and Talia Baruch gives an overview on localizing worldwide mobile apps.
And after all this theoretical localization using advanced management and translation tools, you may need to test your product, which is where Doron Reuveni’s suggestions on crowdsourcing your localization testing could come in.
While any issue on the future of language technology might seem ripe for technology reviews, we’ve opted out of the implicit assertion
than any one particular tool is “the future,” and instead Nancy A. Locke reviews The Interpreter’s Journal, a book showcasing a Thai and Lao interpreter’s personal journeys, professional and otherwise.
In our columns, Lori Thicke interviews Will Burgett of Intel about automating multilingual chat and various other hot localization topics. Kate Edwards talks about culture and religion, and Andrzej Zydro´n makes a case for cloud-based translation tools. Daniel B. Harcz’s Takeaway covers translator database management, which wraps up what is overall a fairly techie issue.
So, happy 2012 to all our readers, whether they be reading on high-speed internet connections or from a traditional paper copy.