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Thanks to a group of University of Houston students, the hearing impaired may soon have an easier time communicating with those who do not understand sign language. During the past semester, students in UH’s engineering technology and industrial design programs teamed up to develop the concept and prototype for MyVoice, a device that reads sign language and translates its motions into audible words. Recently, MyVoice earned first place among student projects at the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) – Gulf Southwest Annual Conference.
The development of MyVoice was through a collaborative senior capstone project for engineering technology students (Anthony Tran, Jeffrey Seto, Omar Gonzalez and Alan Tran) and industrial design students (Rick Salinas, Sergio Aleman and Ya-Han Chen). Overseeing the student teams were Farrokh Attarzadeh, associate professor of engineering technology, and EunSook Kwon, director of UH’s industrial design program.
MyVoice’s concept focuses on a handheld tool with a built-in microphone, speaker, soundboard, video camera and monitor. It would be placed on a hard surface where it reads a user’s sign language movements. Once MyVoice processes the motions, it then translates sign language into space through an electronic voice. Likewise, it would capture a person’s voice and can translate words into sign language, which is projected on its monitor.
The industrial designers researched the application of MyVoice by reaching out to the deaf community to understand the challenges associated with others not understanding sign language. They then designed MyVoice, while the engineering technology students had the arduous task of programming the device to translate motion into sound.
“The biggest difficulty was sampling together a databases of images of the sign languages. It involved 200-300 images per sign,” Seto said. “The team was ecstatic when the prototype came together.”
From its conceptual stage, MyVoice evolved into a prototype that could translate a single phrase: “A good job, Cougars.”
“This wasn’t just a project we did for a grade,” said Aleman, who just graduated from UH. “While designing and developing it, it turned into something very personal. When we got to know members of the deaf community and really understood their challenges, it made this MyVoice very important to all of us.”
Since MyVoice’s creation and first place prize at the ASEE conference, all of the team members have graduated. Still, Aleman said that the project is not history.
“We got it to work, but we hope to work with someone to implement this as a product,” Aleman said. “We want to prove to the community that this will work for the hearing impaired.”
“We are proud of such a contribution to society through MyVoice, which breaks the barrier between deaf community and common society,” added Attarzadeh.
Read more >>
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Australian start-up, Lingmo International, has brought us one step closer to the science-fiction dream of a universal translator earpiece. The Translate One2One, powered by IBM Watson artificial intelligence technology, is set to be the first commercially available translation earpiece that doesn’t rely on Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connectivity.
Translation technology has been rapidly progressing over the past few years. Both Google and Skype have been developing, and constantly improving, both text-to-text and speech-to-speech systems, and the current Google Translate app offers fantastic translation functionality through your smartphone, but we haven’t seen that transferred into something like an earpiece until very recently.
Last year, Waverly Labs launched its Pilot earpiece, which communicates with an app via Bluetooth to offer near real-time speech-to-speech translation. Waverly Labs made US$5 million from its initial Indiegogo campaign, and is set to ship the first round of pre-orders later this year. The handheld ili translator also promises Wi-Fi-free language translation when it launches in October.
With the imminent launch of the Translate One2One, Lingmo is poised to jump to the head of the class with a system that incorporates proprietary translation algorithms and IBM’s Watson Natural Language Understanding and Language Translator APIs to deal with difficult aspects of language, such as local slang and dialects, without the need for Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connectivity.
“As the first device on the market for language translation using AI that does not rely on connectivity to operate, it offers significant potential for its unique application across airlines, foreign government relations and even not-for-profits working in remote areas,” says Danny May, Lingmo’s Founder and Director.
The system currently supports eight languages: Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, French, Italian, German, Brazilian Portuguese, English and Spanish. The in-built microphone picks up spoken phrases, which are translated to a second language within three to five seconds. An app version for iOS is also available that includes speech-to-text and text-to-speech capabilities for a greater number of languages.
The Translate One2One earpiece is available now to preorder for $179 with delivery expected in July. A two-piece travel pack is also available for $229, meaning two people, each with their own earpiece, could hold a real-time conversation in different languages.
Just a few years ago the idea of a universal translator device that slipped into your ear and translated speech into your desired language in real-time seemed like science fiction, but between Lingmo, Waverly Labs, Google and a host of other clever start-ups, that fantastic fiction looks to be very close to becoming a reality.
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I’m not sure how much of interest this is, but the folks at Microsoft have posted on some key marketing-related terminology:
1. Buyer persona: A semi-fictional profile of your ideal customer based on real-world data and research. Marketers use them to target content, social media, offers and more.
2. Inbound marketing: The process of attracting customers through useful, relevant and interesting content and interactions, typically online. It differs from more traditional ‘outbound’ marketing, such as advertising, direct mail and cold calls, which are more ‘pushy’.
Over the past decade, prospects have become so used to being ‘marketed at’ and ‘sold to’, they no longer respond to gimmicky ads. Instead, modern marketers assist potential customers by providing quality, engaging content.
3. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO): The strategies and techniques used to increase the amount of organic (i.e. non-advertising) traffic to your website from relevant search engine results. Google considers several factors when presenting a ranked list of results for a user’s search query.
Quality, relevant and well-optimised content increases your Google ranking opportunity. Stay tuned for our upcoming blog on ‘9 tools to benchmark your digital marketing’ to help explore this further.
4. Blog: Typically, companies use blogs to publish relevant, engaging content to build credibility with their potential customers, establish thought leadership and technical credentials and as part of an SEO strategy designed to attract visitors to a website.
5. Smart Partner marketing model: A model of the buyer’s progression through the marketing and sales funnel. Modern marketers provide the right content at each stage to attract, convert and qualify leads.
6. Exploration stage: In the exploration stage, marketers provide content that addresses their personas’ core challenges. Use this content to drive traffic to a qualifying action, such as a demo or trial.
7. Evaluation stage: At this stage, customers will compare potential solutions to their problems through demos and testimonials. Track a prospect’s progress through the smart marketing model to determine their buying intent.
8. Purchase stage: In the purchase stage, a customer will commit to a proposed solution and negotiate terms and conditions. Partners should provide a quote, ROI tools, case studies and references to support their position.
9. Landing page: A standalone web page used to capture visitor data and convert them into leads. Landing pages are the gatekeepers of MOFU content offers such as eBooks and webinars. Each landing page contains a form, which visitors must complete to access the gated content.
10. Call To Action (CTA): A button image or text link on a website, social media page or email that encourages a website visitor to head to a landing page or take some other step along their marketing journey such as booking a demo.
CTAs should be visually striking with copy that compels engagement. They should be concise, action-orientated and easy to spot.
11. A/B testing: A way of testing different variables on a webpage or email. Modern marketers test and tweak page content, CTAs or subject lines to see which version has a higher conversion rate.
12. Analytics: Measuring and analysing marketing activity using automation tools to benchmark performance. In modern marketing, cost per customer acquisition and customer lifetime value can be easily calculated. Measure ROI instead of number of leads or website visits to determine the success of each individual marketing campaign.
13. Bounce rate: The percentage of visitors navigating away from your site after visiting just one page. Ideally, your content should be ‘sticky’, and your navigation should be clear to encourage people to stay and see more of your site.
Average bounce rates vary based on your website’s content and target audience. However, as a general rule of thumb, you want to limit your bounce rate to between 26 to 40 percent. Anything over 70 percent is worrying.
14. Click-Through Rate (CTR): A click-through rate measures the number of people who actually click on a link, offer, CTA or advert relative to the number of people who see it. A high click-through rate (around 2%) suggests a popular or attractive offer.
15. Infographic: Content that combines vibrant imagery with pithy text and statistics. Infographics are easily shared and can generate great backlinks for your site.
16. Influencers: A person who impacts the purchase decisions of others via a position of influence. They’re usually a celebrity, journalist or successful blogger within your chosen niche.
Influencers work with brands in various industries and verticals. In the tech sector, influencers address partners at events or provide online exposure through the endorsement of your products or services.
17. Pay Per Click (PPC): Purchasing advertising space within a search engine, social media platform or external website. Search engine PPC allows businesses to appear on the first page for selected keywords. Companies pay for every click their advert receives.
18. MQL and SQLs: Although there is no universal definition, a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) is a website visitor who shows a high level of interest in your business. They might indicate this by filling in a form, visiting certain pages or opening your emails. Most MQLs meet some basic suitability criteria: for example, working in a large company or having a specific job title.
A Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) meets your sales team’s criteria for proactive engagement. For example, if a lead requests a demo, a sales rep might validate them by checking their LinkedIn profile. It’s important sales and marketing work together to qualify all potential leads.
19. Closed-loop marketing: The practice of tracking a customer’s entire marketing journey, from website visitor to closed sale. Closed-loop marketing is a key concept of the inbound methodology, as it allows you to see the exact impact of your strategy on business growth.
20. Lead nurturing: Lead nurturing or ‘drip marketing’ is a method of qualifying leads through continuous engagement. The aim is to move prospects through the sales funnel by providing relevant information at each stage of the smart marketing model. Emails and social media messages are both effective ways to direct buyers to the next stage and help them to qualify.
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The Kannada book industry is thriving with each passing year, but quality remains a major concern. The number of Kannada publication houses has increased, but the reading community hasn’t grown much.
There are over 1,000 publication houses across the state, but only around 100 publication houses publish books of quality. “The reading habit hasn’t diminished, but has grown in proportion to the population. However, the growth of the reading community doesn’t match the number of publication houses,” Na Ravikumar of Abhinava Prakashana says.
“Like music, reading attracts fewer people. The industry is slowly witnessing the digitisation process slowing down the expansion of reading community,” he says.
Many publishers say there are hardly any best-selling authors in Kannada at present. “Only two writers — S L Bhyrappa and Sai Suthe — are in demand now. Absence of masters like Kuvempu,
Tejaswi, P Lankesh and U R Ananthamurthy has hit the growth of the reading community,” says Guruprasad of Akruthi Prakashana.
Nearly 900 titles a year used to be released a decade ago, but today, around 5,000 titles are released every year. Many publication houses publish books only to sell them to libraries. Many people want to project themselves as writers. They start their own publication houses and sell their books to libraries.
“We often get calls from people settled abroad for publication of their parents’ works. They are ready to shell out money, but aren’t bothered about the quality,” says Sameer Joshi of Manohara Grantha Mala, Dharwad.
The e-book trend had affected the offline book sales in 2015-16. However, offline sale has increased in the past one year.
“The e-book sale has dipped from 21% to 11%, striking a positive note for book industry,” Paresh Shah, CEO, Sapna Book House, says.
Literature continues to be the most popular genre among customers. Books on popular science, environmental issues, personality development, recipes and time management are also in demand.
Demand for classics
“There has always been a demand for classics in literature. We get many retired employees seeking classics in Kannada and translation of classics from other languages,” says Joshi. Books on films and sports have fewer takers as media largely covers those fields.
The print form is making way for the digital form, while audiovisual trailers for books are slowly gaining momentum. Manohara Grantha Mala is digitising classics and titles that are out of print.
The Kannada book industry registers business worth Rs 25 crore a year.
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With ever-increasing demand for local content, the pressure is growing on translation teams to do more with their available resources.
AdaptiveMT, introduced in SDL Trados Studio 2017, is a game-changer for machine translation (MT) technology. By learning from post-edits it provides translators with a self-learning, personalized MT service that improves the quality of suggestions and boosts productivity.
Learn about how AdaptiveMT is transforming the role of MT in this white paper.
Download this white paper here >>
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DANBURY, CT, USA and DUBLIN, IRELAND – 15 June 2017. Translators without Borders (TWB) and The Rosetta Foundation (TRF) have agreed to merge operations. The merger, announced today at the Localization World conference in Barcelona, brings together the two leading non-profit organizations focused on better access to information in languages people understand.
In the past five years, and especially since the devastating outbreak of Ebola in 2014-15, there has been a greater awareness that language is a critical part of humanitarian response and development work. TWB and TRF have responded by building technologies and communities of translators to ensure non-profit organizations have access to high quality local language resources. Additionally, TWB has developed its Words of Relief crisis response service, which has been active in a number of major crises, including the Ebola outbreak, Nepal earthquake and the European refugee crisis.
“We have all seen time and again, for example recently during the refugee crisis in Greece, how information can save and transform lives. For information to be effective it needs to be in local languages,” said Andrew Bredenkamp, board chair of TWB and member of the TRF board. “The need for local language information is huge, urgent, and growing fast – this merger will give us greater scalability and a stronger platform for advocacy to help meet this need.”
With this merger, the organizations will increase efficiencies and ensure that both entities continue to offer high quality language services to the aid community and the affected populations they serve.
Aimee Ansari, executive director of TWB and Olga Blasco, TRF executive for the past 1.5 years, worked together to complete the deal, backed by the boards of both organizations. Olga has said, “I’m very excited about the opportunity to work with Aimee, a veteran of the humanitarian sector who truly understands the importance of language. Over the coming months, we will work together with the TWB and TRF teams to merge operations as required to meet our strategic goals and, most importantly, to strengthen outreach and processes for our highly motivated translator communities.” Olga will be relinquishing her role as executive to become a new TRF board member.
TRF works with translators through the Trommons platform, developed by the Localisation Research Centre at the University of Limerick and exclusively licensed to TRF, who have open-sourced it. TWB has been operating on the ProZ.com powered translation center, which it has recently complemented with state-of-the-art open-source translation technology and CRM functionality to build its unique Kató translation platform. For now, services to partners will continue as normal on both platforms, while some administrative tasks will be merged.
TWB was founded as a United States non-profit in 2010 by Lori Thicke. TRF was founded by Reinhard Schäler during the Action for Global Information Sharing (AGIS) conference in Limerick in 2009. Further details will be communicated to the organizations’ communities over the next six months. Additionally, the organizations have jointly created an FAQ; specific questions can be directed to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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More than a year has passed since our first edition of startups to watch. So it was time to check in again with language industry founders and see what new business models are emerging. The companies we cover in this edition have all been founded after 2013 and are starting to get traction.
Interprefy: BYOD Remote Simultaneous Interpreting
The Pitch: Get rid of those clunky translation headsets and listen to a live interpreter at conferences using your smartphone, tablet or laptop. Variations in streaming speed and audio quality considered, it should be easy, more convenient, fast, via an app or a web browser.
Cadence Translate: Real-time Interpretation for Business Meetings
The Pitch: Hire an interpreter from anywhere in the world for your business meetings, conference calls, and livestreams. As you talk, remote interpreters are translating your message on the fly in another language or multiple languages. A proprietary matchmaking platform called “SmartMatch” can connect buyers with the right interpreter.
VoiceBoxer: Voice Interpretation for Multilingual Webinars
The Pitch: Live voice interpretation for international webinars, virtual meetings, and web presentations is made easy with VoiceBoxer’s multilingual web presentation and communication platform. Established in 2013, the startup is run by a team of five in its headquarters in Copenhagen.
MiniTPMS: Management System for Small LSPs
The Pitch: If you still use spreadsheets and post-its to track your translation business projects, then you’re living in the wrong century, says MiniTPMS Founder and CEO Nenad Andricsek. These tools may get a job or two done, but in terms of technology, it’s prehistoric, he continues. Andricsek’s startup offers a tool which helps organize the business of very small, boutique LSPs.
Translation Exchange: Website and App Localization
The Pitch: More and more companies are discovering the value of localization, but the traditional process of localizing websites and mobile apps is outdated, cumbersome, and error- prone.
“Translation Exchange automates the entire localization process,” says Co-founder and CEO Michael Berkovich. “My co-founder Ian McDaniel and I led the localization efforts at a company called Yammer and that was the genesis of Translation Exchange.”
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The move comes after, apparently, low usage. From the YouTube help section:
Turning off the Translation marketplace
We’re working to develop tools that benefit the broadest number of creators, such as a our free translation tools. We noticed that usage for the Translation marketplace has been low, so we’ve made the decision to turn it off starting in June 2017.
This means that you’ll no longer be able to buy transcriptions and translations for your videos directly in Video Manager. Don’t worry — If you’ve already purchased translations from the marketplace, they’ll continue to show on your videos. And any orders you place before the marketplace is turned off will still be delivered.
You can continue to make your videos available to a global audience by having your community contribute translations or manually adding translations to your videos.
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On this week’s episode of Globally Speaking, Renato Beninatto interviews Ellie Kemp, who heads crisis response at Translators without Borders.
- The challenge of finding qualified translators in Bwa and Ligenza, the two biggest languages in the stricken zone
- How to communicate with a largely illiterate population
- How to address local customs that contribute to contagion
- How a small group of translators can impact the lives of hundreds of thousands of people
- How you can help by supporting Translators without Borders
- How Translators without Borders continues to build awareness of the importance of language issues in international humanitarian programs
Listen to the podcast >>
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All indicators point to the fact that the language services industry is doing well. In the United States, the total headcount nearly doubled over the past decade. Investment bankers are bullish about the sector’s prospects. Even venture capitalists see opportunities. And over 200 private investors participated in a Finnish language service provider’s recent EUR 0.7m crowdfunding.
Nearly three quarters of Slator readers who participated in a poll conducted among our email newsletter subscribers concur that business is good. Only a small minority of 9% see their businesses deteriorating fast.
To balance all the talk about disruption and the hype around neural machine translation, we wanted to know if there are still buyers who do not ask for discounts generated by the use of the good old translation memory.
There are a million ways to fine tune this question and make it more specific. But the point was to get a sense of whether translation memory use has become ubiquitous or if there is still a considerable number of buyers who do not ask for potential discounts generated by repeat content.
The results created an interesting discussion on social media. On LinkedIn, the ever combative Tom Hoar of Slate Desktop criticized the poll using words such as “fake” and “misleading”, while Bill Lafferty of Lafferty Translation, LLC, commented that he doesn’t see “why this is alarming.”
Lafferty continued, “CAT tools aren’t always the best option. For instance, clients may not want confidential data to reside in a TM database. Or redundant text might be readily identifiable using MS Word’s compare tool.”
David Altmann from nlg GmbH commented that “I can only assume that we are mostly talking about (small) companies that don’t know what TM is and the supplier doesn’t care to tell the client, to make more profit.” Altman suggested that a good follow-up question would be to ask how many small LSPs are not passing on TM savings because clients don’t ask.
French, Japanese, and Arabic share the crown of being perceived by our readers as the most difficult major languages to find highly qualified translators for. Fewer respondents mention Korean, German, Portuguese, and Chinese as tough to source. And only a handful think Italian and Spanish present the greatest sourcing challenges. Happy hunting, Vendor Managers!
Read more >>
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Unsure of the right terminology to use? Gearing up to build a style guide for your app or website translation, but don’t know where to start? Always admired a global company’s content style and wondered how they pull it off?
Don’t send up silent prayers to the universe asking for help. This list of freely available localization resources from some of the biggest global brands is just what you need. Each resource in this alphabetically-arranged list offers some general guidelines as well as instructions specific to their website, product, or service.
Apple’s internationalization (i18n) guide is geared toward developers—it lists a wide range of programming resources for iOS as well as Mac developers. Apart from guidelines on making apps ready for localization, the guide points to downloadable glossaries (a login is required).
The European Union’s 263 specialized glossaries range in topics from the automotive industry to trade unions, nanotechnology, and fisheries. Though this is a huge database, not all of the glossaries are in all the official languages of the EU.
Facebook Translation App Guide is meant to help translators using the Facebook app for translation. It explains various nuances of the app such as tokens, variations, attributes, inline translations, and voting with the app. But it also touches on linguistic aspects such as translating with gender in mind, given that Facebook offers users the option to not mention their gender.
Facebook accommodates different language conventions with the help of tokens, variations, and attributes. It also offers style guides and glossaries for most languages on Facebook. Volunteer translators can head over to the Translator Community for their language when they have feedback, suggestions, or questions. Facebook’s resources, too, require a login.
Google Global Advertiser’s localization guide consists of tips on how to work with translation companies and a short glossary of terms used in the localization domain. Like Apple’s i18n guide, this isn’t meant for translators, so detailed resources aren’t available.
Microsoft Language Portal
This is by far one of the most comprehensive and freely available term bases online. You can search in English for equivalent terms in over 100 languages and even download the term base for offline access. The portal also offers localization style guides, a localized error message lookup tool for Microsoft products, a reference library for building global-ready apps, and many more resources.
Mozilla’s extensive style guide stresses that translators must make translations resonate well for their culture and audience instead of trying to be strictly faithful to the format and style of the source language. It says here: “Localized content shouldn’t be a literal translation, but it should capture the same meaning and sentiment. So feel free to pull it apart and put it back together; replace an English expression with one from your native language; Mozilla-fy it for your region.”
In fact, their style guide is a series of questions to translators on how dates, time, and abbreviations, among other things, are used in their language. When it comes to loanwords—an important policy item in translation—it asks, “Will you use loanwords from another language or coin new terms in your language to maintain language purity? Is there [a] government requirement or policy to encourage creating new terms for new concepts, or will loanwords be sufficient to reach broader masses and expedite new technology adoption?”
I particularly liked some of the tips on translating difficult concepts . . .
- Know your product and understand the function of the feature.
- Consider similar ideas for those functions in your culture.
- Associate a culturally-specific image with the meaning and function of the term.
. . . and advice on developing new term bases.
- Avoid overly borrowing English expressions.
- Referencing another language from the same language family may inspire you to come up with your own terms.
- Consider the product target audience (age, level of literacy, education, and social and economic status).
Apart from a short style guide, TED has a rich mine of support files for subtitling. In true TED spirit, the style guide starts off with tips on collaboration, asking people to direct criticism at the work and not at translators. Translators are also encouraged to contact their Language Coordinators in case of disputes.
TED Talks have been subtitled by volunteer translators in over 100 languages.
Twitter provides a glossary for the language you choose to translate into. This is available in the Help section of Twitter Translation, which can be accessed after signing up to translate and agreeing to Twitter’s terms.
See full article >>
For several years, the field of quality checking tools has been largely stagnant, with incremental updates to established tools. Recently, TAUS’ Dynamic Quality Framework (DQF) and the EU’s Multidimensional Quality Metrics (MQM) have set the stage for new developments in quality assessment methods thanks to their new methods and push for standardization. In this blog, we’ll review three new market entrants that are hoping to shake up this area. But let’s start with an overview of the types of tools out there:
- Automatic quality checkers. These tools use pattern recognition and other language technology approaches to identify potential problems, such as broken or missing links, inconsistent terminology, and missing content. These applications help linguists identify and fix problems during production to ensure quality.
- Quality assessment scorecards. Many LSPs use spreadsheet-based tools or simple software applications to count errors in translations to generate quality scores. They use the figures these produce to decide whether target text meet thresholds for acceptance. The classic example of such a system is the now-defunct LISA QA Model, but most CAT tools have some basic functions in this area.
Both of these approaches serve their purpose and help both LSPs and their clients, but three companies are bringing energy to an area that has been something of a language technology backwater. In CSA Research’s briefings with the developers of these tools, we saw encouraging signs that quality assessment is taking off again.
See full review >>
San Francisco, California: Boostlingo, a next-generation interpreting delivery platform, has partnered with ProZ.com to bring the world’s largest community of freelance interpreters to users of its platform.
Boostlingo has made interpretation widely accessible, offering language service providers (LSPs) on-demand access to Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) and Over the Phone Interpreting (OPI), advanced scheduling and administration, 24-7 customer support and usability across all devices. Leveraging pre-screened freelance interpreters from ProZ.com, Boostlingo will provide LSPs direct, efficient access to the ProZ.com database and its worldwide interpreter network.
“ProZ.com has built an amazing reputation and brand in the language industry. Combining the power of Boostlingo technology with the marketplace benefits of the ProZ.com ecosystem will create an unmatched interpretation network,” Boostlingo CEO Bryan Forrester said of the partnership. “We are excited to join forces with ProZ.com.”
ProZ.com has provided tools and opportunities to members in the language industry since 1999. Boostlingo will integrate with ProZ.com’s pre-screened freelance interpreter pool, syncing with ProZ.com interpreters to efficiently fulfil immediate VRI, OPI and in-person interpreting opportunities.
“We’re excited to help interpreters expand their businesses through this partnership with Boostlingo,” said ProZ.com President Henry Dotterer. “Boostlingo has built an impressive platform for businesses that offer interpreting services, and we’re glad to help connect interpreters to the resulting business opportunities.”
To generate greater use of the ProZ.com interpreter network and the Boostlingo platform, both parties have agreed to cross-promote, maintain high industry standards, and work closely together to improve the speed and ease at which a third party can access a qualified interpreter. More information can be found at www.ProZ.com and www.boostlingo.com.
ABOUT BOOSTLINGO: Boostlingo, LLC is a language software and technology company based in San Francisco, California. Boostlingo is focused on defining the next generation of interpretation technology solutions. The software is device agnostic, infinitely scalable and compliant across all common regulatory and security requirements. By providing access to On-Demand VRI, OPI and On-Site scheduling services, Boostlingo intends to advance global visibility and support the interpreter community.
ABOUT PROZ.COM: Founded in 1999, ProZ.com is home to the world’s largest community of freelance translators. Companies that require translations can use the site’s directory to find translators or translation companies at no charge. In addition, translators working on jobs have a structured means (called “KudoZ”) of obtaining assistance from colleagues on challenging terms. Many other services are provided for translators, including discussion forums, in-person and virtual meetings, the “Blue Board” database of translation outsourcers with reviews, and more. The ProZ.com interpreting pool launched on June 1, 2017.
Qualified interpreters may apply at http://www.proz.com/pools/interpreters.
Many thanks to Parrot for flagging news of the UN adoption of ITD as it was breaking. Here are some of the highlights in Translation News for the month of May 2017:
Translation / Interpreting
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May 24, 2017 marks an historical milestone for all professional translators, interpreters and terminologists as the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted Resolution A/71/L.68 recognising the role of professional translation in connecting nations, and fostering peace, understanding and development.
In the same resolution, the United Nations General Assembly declares 30 September to be UN International Translation Day to be celebrated across the entire UN network.
Official recognition of the International Translation Day (ITD), first celebrated back in 1953, has been one of FIT’s longstanding missions since its inception. Many attempts have been made to seek official recognition of ITD especially from our partner UNESCO. As recently as early 2015, a delegation with a letter signed by FIT President to the Secretary General of UNESCO attended the inaugural launch of the International Mother Language Day but to no avail.
Multilingualism, successful implementation of which is intricately linked with professional translation, interpreting and terminology, is one of the key pillars of the United Nations and it is a central component of its engagement with citizens from 193 Member States through its 6 official languages. It is particularly poignant that Resolution A/71/L.68 compliments the Nairobi Recommendation of 1976 widening the scope to encompass all human endeavours by recognising the role professional translation plays in connecting nations – the very theme of ITD2016, proposed by the American Translators Association (ATA).
This resolution also enshrines and celebrates the importance and the irreplaceability of professional translation in international human endeavours. It highlights the critical need for training the next generation of professional translators, interpreters and terminologists to meet this ever increasing demand as international interaction, cooperation and collaboration continue to grow. The United Nations, in collaboration with its university partners, has been one of the leading centres of excellence in training the translators, interpreters and terminologists who will continue to play a critical role in international security and prosperity in Member States and across the UN.
Both FIT and the UN are about bringing people together. Resolution xxx not only brings the UN and FIT closer together; with ITD coinciding with the International Week of the Deaf (IWD) and following the successful inaugural combined observation and celebration of the IWD and ITD last year, it is hoped that the celebration of ITD across the UN will also highlight the important role played by the national and regional sign languages especially in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Finally, it is important to remind the Federation and the wider profession that 2017 already marks an important milestone. The European Commission and the wider European Union will be observing and celebrating the ITD for the first time in conjunction with European Day of Languages (EDL) following last year’s successful meeting between the Director-General for Translation (DGT) and Director General for Interpretation (DGI) and FIT President at the European Commission.
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Understanding the buyer and the variables they consider in procurement is essential to securing and retaining strategic accounts. At the inaugural SlatorCon London on May 9, 2017, over 60 senior industry executives were treated to a snapshot of how the procurement brain works by one of the language industry’s largest buyers.
With USD 7.8bn in revenue and 50,000 professionals serving clients in over 100 markets, QuintilesIMS is by far the world’s largest clinical research organization. It purchases millions of dollars in translation for itself and its clients. The company is said to be one of TransPerfect’s major global accounts.
At SlatorCon, Steve Kirk, Chief Global Procurement Officer at QuintilesIMS, discussed their strategic sourcing process, what category management looks like, centralized vs. decentralized procurement models, and where they place translation in their procurement mix.
He walked participants through the many variables they consider when evaluating a supplier relationship with a Language Service Provider (LSP) and challenged the audience to know how many of these variables are important to both you and the buyer.
Kirk works with his teams in North America, Europe, EMEA and Asia Pacific to manage global and local purchasing and he detailed the process they take to identify, segment and manage Strategic Sourcing. For QuintilesIMS, the five steps are Initiation, Insight, Innovation, Implementation and Improvement.
“Everyone has a slightly different version of the five, six or seven steps that you go through but the flow is pretty much the same,” said Kirk. “Go off, get your data, work out what your category looks like, and try to get together some kind of a business case of what you’re trying to achieve from the category.”
Focusing in on the translation category, Kirk highlighted the challenges they face in building a team. “You’re looking at trying to get together people that are maybe in dispersed geographies, different parts of the business,” said Kirk. “They might be doing marketing translation, they might be doing clinical translation, they might be looking at something that is part of our market research division in the IMS case. [We are] trying to work out how you can get all those different guys together into one room and say right, how do we build a spec here?”
Adding to the complexity for translation is QuintilesIMS’ “fragmented spend across the business.” Kirk said, “You’ve got a fragmented industry, with a fragmented supply base, with a fragmented nature of spend in translation. How do you get your hands around that and work out what you’re really buying?”
“You’re looking at trying to get together people that are maybe in dispersed geographies, different parts of the business” — Steve Kirk, Chief Global Procurement Officer, QuintilesIMS
A large portion of QuintilesIMS’ translation spend is passed through to their clients, i.e. the world’s largest pharma companies, which expect them to be custodians of that spend on their behalf. As such, QuintilesIMS is constantly measuring and analyzing data as it seeks to improve supplier management, achieve economies of scale and leverage buying power.
Sourcing cycles are accelerating from the current 2-3 years, placing even more pressure on vendors. “What we’re driving towards now is a more frequent sourcing process. A more regular challenge to our supply base,” said Kirk. “And we’re going to try to increase our sourcing velocity,” indicating a potential target cycle as short as 12 to 18 months.
Within the supplier management process, QuintilesIMS are using globalization and centralization to build a global supply base and leverage their buying power.
“You typically start with 50, 60, or 100 suppliers doing translations,” said Kirk. “New procurement comes in, category management comes in, a new CPO comes in. Let’s try to use economies of scale, let’s try and bundle together our spend, let’s try to get to one single contract with one single supplier.”
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An algorithm developed by researchers at Salesforce shows how computers may eventually take on the job of summarizing documents. It uses several machine-learning tricks to produce surprisingly coherent and accurate snippets of text from longer pieces. And while it isn’t yet as good as a person, it hints at how condensing text could eventually become automated.
The algorithm produced, for instance, the following summary of a recent New York Times article about Facebook trying to combat fake news ahead of the U.K.’s upcoming election:
- Social network published a series of advertisements in newspapers in Britain on Monday.
- It has removed tens of thousands of fake accounts in Britain.
- It also said it would hire 3,000 more moderators, almost doubling the number of people worldwide who scan for inappropriate or offensive content.
The Salesforce algorithm is dramatically better than anything developed previously, according to a common software tool for measuring the accuracy of text summaries.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a large improvement in any [natural-language-processing] task,” says Richard Socher, chief scientist at Salesforce. Socher is a prominent name in machine learning and natural-language processing, and his startup, MetaMind, was acquired by Salesforce in 2016.
The software is still a long way from matching a human’s ability to capture the essence of document text, and other summaries it produces are sloppier and less coherent. Indeed, summarizing text perfectly would require genuine intelligence, including commonsense knowledge and a mastery of language.
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Smartling, a translation technology and service innovator, has announced it was named by EContent magazine as a 2017 product trendsetter for its Mobile Delivery Network translation platform.
The select list is a result of the magazine’s effort “to find out what products are helping content creators of all kinds stay on top of their game,” said EContent magazine Editor Theresa Cramer. “Whether it’s the booming podcast industry, the burgeoning market for virtual reality, or the proliferation of devices bringing content straight into the home, our editors have sought out the technologies driving the digital content industry’s growth.”
Smartling’s Mobile Delivery Network solves what traditionally has been a problematic interdependency between mobile app release cycles and translated content updates, enabling developers, translators, and localization professionals to work independently of each other. Updated translations and newly localized content are delivered to the app through this over-the-air service, which means multilingual content and translation edits can be released on a separate schedule, completely decoupled from updates to the app’s core code.
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Iconic Translation Machines (Iconic), a leading Machine Translation (MT) software and solutions provider is pleased to announce its involvement in the creation of ChemZent™, the first and only indexed and searchable English-language version of Chemisches Zentralblatt – the oldest compendium of German chemistry abstracts dating from 1830-1969.
Iconic partnered with CAS, a division of the American Chemical Society, to produce ChemZent. This new CAS solution provides immeasurable value to researchers and institutions worldwide by allowing users to access the entire Chemisches Zentralblatt collection in one place using SciFinder ®, searchable in English with indexing of relevant chemical substances and concepts for ease of discoverability.
Iconic enabled this solution by developing innovative machine learning technology to extend its existing machine translation and natural language processing solutions. Iconic’s unrivalled expertise together with CAS industry-leading scientific information analysis made the launch of ChemZent possible within one year of idea inception.
The process of creating ChemZent involved large scale digitisation and translation of 140 years’ worth of German chemical information – journals and patents – for indexing and search. Iconic digitised 800,000 image-based PDF documents via Optical Character Recognition (OCR).
It then extracted individual articles, separated them into fields by author and title, and machine translated them from German into English, before CAS indexed the records for search. On completion more than 3 million chemical abstracts and one billion words were translated across the entire Chemisches Zentralblatt collection.
Full case study available here: www.iconictranslation.com/cas-chemzent/
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They look a bit more stylish than your average babel fish, but it remains to be seen if they work as well. From the article:
The earbuds run on a new version of Bragi’s operating system, which will come to the original Dash as well. It enables the simpler pairing process, helps the buds auto-detect a workout, and refines the on-bud touch controls, which until now were about as easy to learn as Morse Code. The new OS also introduces two of the more futuristic features Bragi’s been talking about for years: real-time translation, through a partnership with the iTranslate app, and a gesture interface that lets you control your music just by moving your head.
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