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Friday Roundup | October 30, 2020

Friday Roundup

SYSTRAN partners with TAUS to offer COVID Crisis Translation Models

SYSTRAN has struck a partnership with TAUS to provide global access to secure and accurate translations specific to the coronavirus pandemic through new Crisis Translation Models. SYSTRAN created these models in 12 language combinations, across six languages, based on quality parallel data provided by TAUS. Together, SYSTRAN and TAUS are working to ensure that people and communities in need have access to accurate coronavirus-related information in their local language.

“There are substantial volumes of information being produced and circulated about the virus, symptoms, new treatments, vaccines and data from all parts of the globe,” said CEO of SYSTRAN, John Paul Barraza. “Now more than ever, it is vital that information such as medical data, expert findings and guidelines are both readily available and accurate. However, translating this content accurately requires specific knowledge of medical and scientific terminology. By partnering with TAUS and building state-of-the-art models with SYSTRAN’s NMT technology we make translating this critical information as easy and accurate as possible.”

Germany’s Federal Ministry of Health Awards HYKIST Project to AppTek to equip critical care with ai-driven automatic speech translation technology

The HYKIST project is an artificial intelligence-based, real-time automatic speech interpreting and translation system designed for language mediators to have more effective healthcare communications with non-German speaking patients. Currently, there are 20.8 million immigrants living in Germany, and up to 30% have only low-level German language skills. A lack of or incorrect communication in medical care leads to underuse and misuse of medical services, lower quality of care, an increased rate of treatment errors, ineffective preventive measures for patients and dissatisfaction among medical staff.

Through HYKIST, ASR and NMT will be combined with a dialog system for capturing initial medical history, and integrated into the Triaphon telecommunication platform already being used to assign language mediators to urgent phone conversations with medical staff in real time. The project involves Triaphon, a non-profit organization with a mission to improve urgent medical care for patients with language barriers, as well as Fraunhofer FOKUS, Europe’s largest application-oriented research organization, and RWTH Aachen University, the largest technical university in Germany.

The HYKIST project will enhance existing AI-enabled automatic speech translation language models to meet the robust requirements of the medical domain, thereby enabling accurate communication between German healthcare providers and critical care patients. Ultimately, the goal is to facilitate doctor-patient communication for an ever-increasing variety of languages, so that no patients are left behind.

Wordbee and Intento announce connector

Wordbee and Intento just announced a connector that allows Wordbee users to access third-party machine translation (MT) systems available through Intento. This integration significantly extends the range of available MT systems that users can leverage from within Wordbee. It also provides access to advanced MT workflows and features of the Intento Enterprise MT Hub.

Unbabel launched Unbabel Portal

AI-assisted translation platform Unbabel has launched the Unbabel Portal, an interface on top of the Unbabel Platform, which offers customers the visualization and increased control over language operations.  Organizations are now able to view and analyze their language operations in a data-driven, self-service dashboard.

With the new Unbabel Portal, customer service leaders can monitor usage and quality, or download invoices to easily manage their language operations. Unbabel gives customers the needed visibility into their supported languages across different digital channels, and also how quickly agents are resolving issues to drive customer satisfaction.

“Customers need a quick and easy self-service solution to configure, monitor and optimize multilingual support operations. With the launch of the Unbabel Portal, we are enabling teams to better understand how increasing access and visibility to language operations positively impacts the customer experience,” said Vasco Pedro, CEO and co-founder at Unbabel. “The right visibility into language operations will change the way global organizations view multilingual customer service technologies – providing more strategic insight and guidance around global distribution.”

TransPerfect Life Sciences announces hiring of Industry veteran Gillian Gittens as eClinical Director

TransPerfect Life Sciences, a provider of technologies and services to support clinical trials and product development for the biopharmaceutical industry, has announced the hiring of Gillian Gittens as Director of eClinical Strategy and Solutions for the company’s Trial Interactive eClinical platform team.

Gittens will assume a leadership role on the company’s Trial Interactive eClinical innovation team, bringing more than 20 years of experience as a Trial Master File (TMF) expert. She has significant knowledge in eTMF client management, global marketing, and business development and previous experience with companies such as IQVIA, Phlexglobal, and GlaxoSmithKline. Gittens was responsible for implementing new initiatives and served as co-chair of the quality team for the DIA Framework for the Destruction of Paper initiative. She has also published several industry-specific articles in recognized and peer-reviewed journals.

At TransPerfect Life Sciences, Gittens will focus on driving the continued expansion and improvement of the suite of solutions available to clients, which include sponsors, sites, and CROs. In addition, she will provide her expertise to strategic client accounts and internal teams with the goal of increasing efficiency, innovation, and overall performance in document management and trial oversight.

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MultiLingual creates go-to news and resources for language industry professionals.

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Today’s new machine translation releases

Translation Technology

Our January 2018 machine translation (MT) issue has just gone online, prominently featuring a host of new case studies on neural MT. It happens to coincide with the TAUS release of their MT ebook Nunc Est Tempus (“now is the time” in Latin), which also went online today and likewise considers the emerging developments in neural MT, albeit in a different way.Nunc Est Tempus considers the emerging developments in neural MT in a different way Click To Tweet

The ebook is a response to neural MT developments

The ebook, written by Jaap van der Meer and Andrew Joscelyne, looks at the history of the translation industry and proposes that now is the time to redesign workflows in the industry. It features interviews with MT company founders and experts, such as Smith Yewell, CEO of Welocalize; Eric Liu, general manager of Alibaba Language; and Chris Wendt, group program manager of machine translation at Microsoft. The primary message of the ebook is that translation “can now be redefined as intelligent global content delivery,” according to TAUS.

The ebook can be downloaded in PDF format; it reads like a 72-page TAUS whitepaper. MultiLingual readers can purchase it for 20 euros, for a limited time, with the code CHRISTMASR-ML.

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Katie Botkin, Editor-in-Chief at MultiLingual, has a background in linguistics and journalism. She began publishing "multilingual" newsletters at the age of 15, and went on to invest her college and post-graduate career in language learning, teaching and writing. She has extensive experience with niche American microcultures across the political spectrum.

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Common Sense Advice about Machine Translation and Content

Translation Technology

You’d need to be living on the moon if you still don’t get it about how data quality impacts machine translation quality (actually, every kind of translation). But, what does this fact really mean when communicating with content creators?

Writers, and information developers generally, have to contend with all sorts of “guidance” about how they must create content to make it easily “translatable”. I am against that sort of positioning.

Content creators need and want guidance on how to make their content usable, not translatable. There is no conflict between making content readable in English and making it easily translatable, and vice-versa. There is a conflict between telling content creators to make their content translatable and not accounting for content style, source user experience, and especially the motivations and goals of the content creators themselves.

Well, I have been reading the Microsoft Manual of Style (4th Edition), recently published, and I am delighted to see there is a section called “Machine Translation Syntax”.

Microsoft Manual of Style 4th Edition. Sensible stuff about machine translation.

Microsoft Manual of Style 4th Edition. Sensible stuff about machine translation. Did I mention that I got a new bag from Acrolinx?

Here is what that section says:

“The style of the source language has significant impact on the quality of the translation and how well the translated content can be understood.”

The style of the source language. Brilliant appeal to the audience! What follows is a baloney-free set of 10 guidelines for content creators. Each guideline appears to be an eminently sensible content creation principle worth respecting, regardless of the type of translation technology being used, or even if the content is not explicitly destined for translation at the time of creation.

You can read the 10 guidelines on the Microsoft Press blog.

Well done Microsoft, again (no, I am not looking for a job). Let’s see more of this kind of thing from everyone!

I’ll do a review of my new Acrolinx bag when time allows.

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Ultan Ó Broin (@localization), is an independent UX consultant. With three decades of UX and L10n experience and outreach, he specializes in helping people ensure their global digital transformation makes sense culturally and also reflects how users behave locally.

Any views expressed are his own. Especially the ones you agree with.

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Standards, Interoperability, Popcorn

Language Industry News and Events, Translation Technology

These standards initiative thingies are like buses. You wait for ages and then two of them come along together.

Following the er, demise of LISA (the LOCALIZATION Industry Standards Association), we have just seen an announcement by the Translation Automation User Society (TAUS) calling for community guidance on a proposal for that body to become an interoperability watchdog for the industry. This was followed shortly afterwards by an announcement by the Globalization and Localization Association (GALA) that they will fund a standards initiative for the entire industry. Of course, the TAUS and GALA positions are not mutually exclusive and I think they complement each other. I’ll get that popcorn…

The interoperability issue for example, costs the industry a fortune (to the tune of millions of dollars for some). The following presentation called XLIFF: Theory and Reality from Micah Bly of Medtronic, delivered at last year’ XLIFF Symposium in Ireland, has some great examples of the issues involved (hat tip: @ctatwork).

Bottom Line: Interoperability Saves Consumers Money

And sure, who wants to admit to using their own, er, flavor of XLIFF, or using it in some special way (the next time you hear somebody talking about XLIFF just throw in the phrase ‘inline markup’ and see the reaction). It’s always somebody else breaking the standard or not meeting yours isn’t it?

Standards in file formats and tool ‘neutrality’ are notoriously difficult areas to negotiate, and the L10n industry isn’t unique in facing the challenge. The debate generates a lot of thought for sure. Personally, I think that given the costs involved, is it localization service buyers who will call the shots in driving the standards debate. On the other hand, maybe an organization outside the industry might be a better place to look for compliance.

One thing that I (given my role) am interested in understanding is why so many people feel the need to write proprietary extensions to seemingly open standards or to go about implementations in a quirky way. I think there is a link between interoperability issues and some pretty dismal information quality processes, an obsession with formatting over structure, and failure to automate at the source level too (if I see one more workaround to manually create context for translators—instead of deriving it—automatically I will go nuts). We need to be able to figure it out across the entire information lifecycle. For example, in the ERP space, only 23% of companies stick with the vanilla flavor of the application (i.e., what they get out of the box). The rest go off and customize (and that means translating it).

It’s very interesting debate to watch on Twitter (try the #galalisb hashtag while it lasts).

Your views? Find the comments…

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Ultan Ó Broin (@localization), is an independent UX consultant. With three decades of UX and L10n experience and outreach, he specializes in helping people ensure their global digital transformation makes sense culturally and also reflects how users behave locally.

Any views expressed are his own. Especially the ones you agree with.

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Not Convinced About Need for MT? A Must Read

Language in Business, Translation Technology

If you are still not convinced of the about the need for effective machine translation (MT) then check out this PowerPoint deck from Greg Oxton of the Consortium for Service Innovation (CSI). Explosive arguments, delivered at a recent TAUS event.

A very important statement about why we need to be aware of what’s actually happening out there in the digital universe, and to harness the power of MT in translating this content.

It’s time to manage for abundance, and not scarcity (hat tip to Sarah Dillon for that reference).

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Ultan Ó Broin (@localization), is an independent UX consultant. With three decades of UX and L10n experience and outreach, he specializes in helping people ensure their global digital transformation makes sense culturally and also reflects how users behave locally.

Any views expressed are his own. Especially the ones you agree with.

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