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Friday Roundup | Sep 4, 2020

Friday Roundup, Language Industry News and Events

CoPTIC distributes completed information on AB 2257

Following the recent passing of California’s AB 2257 bill, Lorena Ortiz Schneider of The Coalition of Practicing Translators and Interpreters of California (CoPTIC) has published an outline of the practical protections the bill affords linguists. The letter is an updated version of the one she sent out to colleagues celebrating the passing of the bill.

Wordbee partners with Swisscom

Wordbee announces a newly-formed partnership with Swisscom, the leading provider of telecommunication in Switzerland and one of its leading IT companies. “Forming a close business relationship with one of Switzerland’s most innovative and sustainable companies is very exciting for us. It will allow Wordbee to expand even further in the Swiss market and offer its technology to successful businesses that are looking to improve their translation processes,” commented Anita Sempels, CSO Wordbee.

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Swisscom is headquartered in Ittigen, close to the capital city Berne. Outside Switzerland, Swisscom has a presence on the Italian market in the guise of Fastweb. “As part of the B2B 3rd Party Services, Swisscom is continuously expanding its portfolio with solutions from various IT partners, and we are convinced that we can add a key element to this portfolio with Wordbee, thereby meeting the needs of our customers,” says Dario Di Cerbo, Business Development for Swisscom B2B 3rd Party Services.

Established in 2008, Wordbee is a Luxembourg-based translation technology company that develops Wordbee Translator, a collaborative translation editor (CAT) and project management solution, as well as Wordbee Beebox, a content connector that interfaces with popular CMS software.

TransPerfect wins AI Breakthrough Award for “Best Machine Translation Solution” for its GlobalLink Solution

The GlobalLink AI Portal is TransPerfect’s solution for real-time, self-service machine translation. It can handle processing of more than 40 different languages and 30 file formats. The solution allows users to machine translate from any medium, including documents, websites, and audio content, using advanced neural machine translation solutions that are tailored to each client. GlobalLink AI can be used independently through the company’s standalone AI Portal, as well as via APIs and within any GlobalLink product.

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TransPerfect President and CEO Phil Shawe commented, “It’s a great honor to have been selected as an AI Breakthrough Award winner. I could not be more proud of our technology division — they deserve the credit for this recognition. I am further impressed by the team’s unrelenting drive to bring the benefits of AI to our clients.”

The AI Breakthrough Awards annually honor leading technology companies and groundbreaking solutions that stretch the limits of what is possible through AI. Over 2,000 nominations were submitted for consideration this year, and TransPerfect was named as a winner alongside companies such as IBM, Verint, NetApp, Vodafone, Capital One, and AppTek.

China restricts export of language technologies

Several technologies familiar to language service providers (LSPs) and language services adjacent industries make the list, including speech-related technology around corpus design, recording, annotation, and extraction; text prediction; voice recognition and microphone array technologies; and what was described as “Chinese and English composition correction technology,” among other seemingly broad descriptions of digital technology.

The updated restricted-export list does not outright ban these technologies, but requires special approval from Beijing for Chinese companies seeking to take such technologies to market overseas. China has found partners willing to comply with the restrictions, however, with government-backed iFLYTEK recently signing a deal with the Egyptian government to promote natural language processing and machine translation technology for Egyptian-Arabic and Chinese languages.

Argos Multilingual welcomes Jan Bareš as chief technology officer

Jan Bareš has over two decades of production, account management, and technology management experience to Argos, having used his growth mindset and customer-focused attitude to meet the needs some of the largest buyers in the localization industry.

“At Argos, extending our technology solutions is at the heart of our strategy to help customers reach their goals,” adds Véronique Özkaya, Argos Multilingual’s CEO. “Jan is a highly experienced technology leader who totally shares our ‘customer obsessed’ mindset, and we’ll be counting on him to lead the Argos technology team in the building of solutions that help customers make smarter decisions, grow their businesses, and create exceptional customer experiences. We are thrilled to have him on the team.”

Xiaomi updates XiaoAI Voice Assistant with child’s voice, simultaneous translation

Along with the new ability to listen and translate simultaneously, the XiaoAI voice assistant will be able to carry out multiple tasks with one command. The AI will collect information about how people use connected smart devices to develop responses and follow-up ideas.

The other major addition to Xiao AI is a new voice called Puff. The new voice sounds younger and is designed to make children more comfortable interacting with the voice assistant. When in this mode, the voice assistant uses simpler words and tries to speak on their level. According to Xiaomi, the Puff voice mode also automatically filters content, limiting itself to child-friendly information and activities.

G3 Life Sciences names localization industry veteran Amanda Ryan division president

Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Amanda Ryan brings more than a decade of expertise in leadership, consulting, production, client services, and workflow development and optimization. Most recently, she held the position of vice president of Production and Process Development at TransPerfect, the world’s largest provider of language and technology solutions for life sciences organizations. Her industry experience has been built through work with clients like IQVIA, Boehringer Ingelheim, and Pfizer, and in her time spent based in New York, London and Atlanta.

Ryan will oversee all aspects of production and operations for the company’s work on behalf of organizations researching and developing drugs, treatments, and therapies to improve lives around the world. “I am thrilled to join G3 Life Sciences and for the opportunity to bring my expertise to an organization that is focused on delivering services that benefit patients and improve healthcare,” said Ryan. “Language plays a crucial role in delivering care, support, and life-saving treatment, and it’s a true honor to be part of a team that has the power to help change the world.”

EU Commission opens registration for 2020 translation contest

The European Commission today announced the launch of its annual translation contest for secondary school students from across Europe, Juvenes Translatores. Starting September 2, schools from all EU countries were able to register online so their students can compete with peers from other EU countries. This year, the participating teenagers will have to translate a text on the topic “Navigating in challenging times – together we are stronger.”

Participants will be able to translate between any two of the EU’s 24 official languages (making up 552 possible language combinations). In last year’s contest, students used a total of 150 different combinations. Registration for schools — the first part of the two-stage process — is open until midday on 20 October 2020. Teachers can register in any of the EU’s 24 official languages.

After that, the Commission will invite a total of 705 schools to the next stage. The number of schools taking part from each country will be equal to the number of seats the country has in the European Parliament, with the schools selected randomly by computer.The schools chosen must then nominate two to five students for the contest. The students can be of any nationality, but must be born in 2003.

The contest will be run online on November 26 2020 in all participating schools. The winners — one per country — will be announced by early February 2021.

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