Machine Translation from English into Italian
Thread poster: ITA_17
ITA_17  Identity Verified

Local time: 16:59
English to Italian
+ ...
Aug 25, 2011

Hello
I wonder if any colleagues of mine are using tools to automatically translate from English (but also French and German) into Italian and if they consider them useful or not.

Kind Regards
Alberto S.


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Jeff Allen  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:59
Multiplelanguages
+ ...
MT for Italian Aug 28, 2011

Alberto Sala wrote:
I wonder if any colleagues of mine are using tools to automatically translate from English (but also French and German) into Italian and if they consider them useful or not.


Hi Alberto,

I get requests several times a year from freelance translators about MT for such FIGES languages.
I recall that in 2010 I gave some suggestions for MT info/from Italian at least once or twice. Not sure if they are using it today.

Jeff


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ITA_17  Identity Verified

Local time: 16:59
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
urls Aug 29, 2011

Hello Jeff,
thank you for answering!

Are your suggestions available online at any urls?

Many thanks in advance
Alberto


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Jeff Allen  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:59
Multiplelanguages
+ ...
more on MT EN <-> IT Aug 17, 2012

Alberto Sala wrote:

Hello Jeff,
thank you for answering!

Are your suggestions available online at any urls?

Many thanks in advance
Alberto



Alberto, sorry I did not come back to finish answering this question. I had just come back from vacation and would have needed to unarchive some replies from 1-2 years earlier. I just did it. It was actually not in 2010 but rather a year earlier in September 2009 that I had answered a similar question. See below:

Original inquiry from a freelance translator:
>>>Finally, I know this is asking too much, because the answer is probably hidden in one of your articles and I am making you lose time, however: which desktop tool do you suggest for EN/ES > IT language pairs? Are these pairs enough developed (I have found almost nothing for ES>IT.

My reply:
IT target language MT. Definitely nothing for ES > IT except for Systran and Google pivotal type pairs. But that's far from being optimal. Not very many market IT pairs to my knowledge.

---------------

Now my additional reply a few years later.

There is not enough of an economic business justification for most MT companies to invest in creating or significantly enhancing the EN IT language directions. Having the 2012 summer Olympics in the UK didn't help much on this. Each year the Olympics have taken place in non-English speaking countries, there is a huge rush by MT companies for 1-2 beforehand to create or improve their existing MT product for that language paired with English. Didn't I see somewhere that a future Olympics will be in Italy. This will be the chance to get better MT.
Another factor that seems to play an important part in the adoption of new MT language pairs (more for the rule-based MT systems) is that the development cycle for a language pair has traditional been long (about 2 years full-time). And similar to other software fields, some brands put out a product early to see the interest among the public, and other brands prefer to put out a more mature product. The MT world is not really different. It's the fact of being a software company. You have to get the product out and start making money. Some choose to handle the improvements via a higher volume of customer feedback and bug reports than others.

Over the past 1-2 years there have been a number of new competitors coming on the MT solution scene, including for Romance languages, but also for Asian languages. Several of them are statistics MT focused, and this has even pushed the existing major MT players to improve their MT solutions in similar ways.

My advice is to see if PROMT has issued an IT language direction yet. If yes, then it is likely a fairly initially mature language pair as they tend to not create too many language directions at one time. However, PROMT is a very powerful software product with lots of great functionality, but you need to be trained on it. One of the pitfalls that I see people run into (individuals and companies), and not just in the translation software industry, but also in other software sectors, is that they budget for the software license, but not for training. And then they complain afterward that they can't use it. For some software companies I have worked for in the past, I ran the support and training depts and said that if they didn't take the required training, then we didn't provide active support on topics that are covered in the training.
PROMT does offer training courses. I have received certification for that course and I know at least one other freelance translator who took the course and found it excellent to get started working immediately with the software for his daily professional work.

SYSTRAN certainly offers EN IT. Again, getting trained on the software is key to being efficient.

AsiaOnline has recently introduced their LanguageStudio (or is it called TranslatorStudio) version. They have been working with many human translators and trying to focus on features that help such posteditors be productive and efficient. Not sure if they offer a freelance level license. You could check them out.

As for TM CAT tools that can link with MT software. Beware of this because in many cases it is the case of an API link feature which allows the TM tool to connect with a free online MT system. The main problem with this is that all of the free online MT system are basic, non-customizable versions, so it is not possible to improve the quality by adding your specific terminology to them. Some TM tools to have connectors to installed MT software, but look at it closely and ask questions. Sometimes they work, sometimes they stop working (this happened with Wordfast and MT connectors) for a while.

As for SDL/Trados, they will likely favor internal connections with their own MT tool (SDL acquired the Transparent Transcend MT system in 2000/2001 and it was their MT solution called AutoTrans for many years). In 2007/2008 they acquired the LanguageWeaver Statistical MT system, so this it is important to look at what the Trados TM system links up to with regard to MT.

As for testing more recent versions of PROMT (v8 and v9) and SYSTRAN (v6 and v7), I had to stop my planned testing of them (started the project in Dec 2009) a month later in January 2010 to invest one and half years of my freetime for Haiti Disaster relief and have not yet come back to picking up the software testing project again due to other projects.

Hope this info helps you some.

Jeff


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