1. A thousand MT systems will begin to bloom
Sixty years after the term ‘machine translation’ was coined by Warren Weaver, MT has reached the average citizen. Today more words are translated by machines than by humans. The MT button is hit a hundred million times a day or more. Translation “out of the wall” as we had predicted.
But business needs customized MT solutions, which has remained an opaque, complex and lengthy process. And so the MT button remains that fingertip away for many in commerce who would benefit hugely from a world that communicates better.
Not for much longer. This year will see MT technology move significantly closer to “push button” training and tuning. The result will be the “blooming of a thousand MT systems”.
A shifting from generic language pairs to MT engines targeted at specific industries and domains. Many new developers will join the scene – university spin-offs, language service providers – to put their teeth into open source algorithms. The barrier of upfront investments in customization will be removed, finally making translation automation accessible for everyone.
This development has been catalyzed and will be accelerated by the availability of language data and the dominant trend of sharing and collaboration.
2. Sharing TMs will take off in a big way
Last year, open standards, interoperable systems, and even open source became the norm with the TAUS community at the heart of the action. The result is a much better marketplace.
Founding members of TAUS Data Association have proven that sharing TMs benefits everyone. The repository now contains 2 billion words in 201 languages and the TAUS search language engine is rapidly becoming the de-facto terminology tool for users. Seamless connectivity with translation tools is next on the horizon.
With the status quo shown to be dysfunctional, the TDA’s supercloud and other sharing initiatives are set to enjoy the spoils.
3. TM systems – as we know them – will cease to exist
Translation memory, introduced as a sub-feature of the ALPS MT system in 1983, took center stage when the localization industry rejected pure MT as a viable option for the translation of the piles of user documentation that hit the market with the launch of the PC in the mid-eighties.
TM has since dominated the translation tools market for two decades. Apart from the relocation from the translator’s desk-top to the company server, TM technology has sadly remained just a segment leveraging tool.
The opportunities for advanced leveraging using sub-segment matches and a combination of statistical algorithms and linguistic intelligence have unfortunately been ignored for too long by the mainstream industry.
TM will now finally become a smart tool, bridging the gap with its more intelligent MT sister and significantly increasing the recycling of previous translations. At the same time, TM will move into the cloud. Leveraging of translations will be done in the cloud through web services links in desk-top and enterprise translation tools.
The combination of advanced leveraging and the sharing of TMs in the cloud will boost translation productivity by 30% to 50%. And just as important, we will see greater consistency and accuracy in translations.
TAUS is a think tank for the translation industry, undertaking research for buyers and providers of translation services and technologies.
Our mission is to increase the size and significance of the translation industry to help the world communicate better.
To meet this ongoing goal, TAUS supports entrepreneurs and principals in the translation industry to share and define new strategies through a comprehensive program of events, publications and communications.