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Automating Translation:  MT vs. CAT  
May 2016

Machine Translation vs. CAT Tools

CAT tools became truly useable about 20 years ago and they have been improving every since.

The abbreviation stands for computer-assisted translation and, in my opinion, is the perfect marriage between humans and machines.

Linguists work directly within these tools which capture their work, segment it and store it as a translation memory (TM).

During the next work session the software recognizes previously translated text and suggests the same translation. The linguist is always in control and can accept, reject or modify the computer's suggestions. It takes the drudgery out of translation, speeds delivery and dramatically reduces cost.

Machine translation (MT) is a related, though different, animal and it's receiving a lot of press these days.

At least once a week someone announces their new solution for automatic, computer-generated translation services in hundreds of languages. Yes, MT is making great strides but some of those announcements should be taken with a grain of salt.

Click here for more information:

The most exciting development is the integration of the two technologies, CAT tools plus MT. The TMs mentioned above, all the creation of the translators' work, can be used to train a specific piece of software called an MT engine.

The linguist can not only use translation management software to open the TM which contains edited/revised/accepted segments in the working language but can also connect to the MT engine.

This engine analyzes the source text and suggests translations starting with the segments of the TM but also using statistical analysis and rules-based processes. The best MT engines, created using upwards of 100,000 approved segments, can produce work that needs no editing for 25% to 45% of the text.

All MT translations have to be reviewed, of course, but the remainder of the segments over and above the 25-45% will require post-editing.

This requires a trained translator/reviser with the additional skill of knowing which segments need simple revision and which should be discarded.

Within the translation/localization industry, the pairing of CAT tools and MT promises faster, more consistent work and also leaves open the option for low quality where appropriate.

Tembua's primary operational objective is quality and we are excited to follow improvements in any technology that will help our linguists!
Click here to send me questions/comments!
Patricia May

In This Issue
Tembua Receives
2016 AI Award!
We were delighted to learn that our company has been chosen to receive the 2016 AI Business of Distinction Award.

I think that my staff is top-notch and, with quality as our primary operational objective, I know that our clients are always pleased with our work. The award is certainly deserved!

Then I read the fine print:
Congratulations Tembua Precision Language Services!
2016 Business of Distinction - Estonia

We're in Minneapolis.
Everyone had a good laugh.

On the Road Again: Humor
Tembua enjoyed chatting with people in Des Moines during a recent road trip.

Some snapshots from our trip:
1) In one hotel Gandalf, complete with beard, hat and robe, pushed a cart through the lobby. He told me someone had stolen his staff. He wasn't the only one in costume. . .

2) When we made our appointment at the convention center, everything became clear: Comic Con was in town. Many thanks to the Director of Security who helped us around all the construction and walked us to the proper office!

3) We arrived at our next stop at the same time as 2 fire trucks. A truck had the entrance blocked as stage hands struggled to unload a large spotlight and the firefighters yelled at them, "Move that truck!" Someone finally turned off the alarm but I don't think our meeting was very productive!

4) Downtown Des Moines has a lot of construction underway. When I mentioned that at our first appointment, I was told everyone was excited about the renovation of historic buildings, the revamping of the city streets and the imminent arrival of a grocery store downtown. The same thing happened at our 2nd appointment. And the 3rd. I began to think that the Chamber of Commerce had put out a special blurb dealing with the construction. Then again, maybe the people we met with were just excited about the new look for their city.

5) Centros on Locust Street makes wonderful Manicotti Florentine!

Watch for more news from Tembua On the Road!

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