This week in the news, the Translation Automation User Society (TAUS) is pushing for a concerted effort to improve overall Machine Translation (MT), Microsoft has unveiled a near real-time voice translator, and a retro videogame gets a fan-made language makeover. Read on to get an in-depth view of what’s happening in the translation world.
Machine Translation March
CSOFT attended the TAUS Executive Forum in Dublin earlier this week where the focus was Machine Translation (MT). MT has come an awfully long way since its inception over 60 years ago and has made incredible progress in the past decade but there are still some daunting hurdles to be overcome. One such hurdle is the notorious mistranslation to which MT engines are prone. With multiple proprietary MT engines focused on narrow linguistic fields, the lack of business-to-business data sharing is the last real obstacle to an ultimate MT. So TAUS kicked off this year’s Executive Forum with the stated goal of getting both the users and the producers of Machine Translators to share more of their data, thus advancing the field. To learn about CSOFT’s ongoing efforts, click here.
Skype & Microsoft Inch Closer to the Universal Translator
The translation world is abuzz after a Code Conference demonstration from Microsoft last week where they showed off Skype Translator, an app due out later this year that translates speech in near real-time. The number of languages the app will support is still unclear; only German to English and vice versa were demoed at the conference but Microsoft’s new CEO, Satya Nadella, is highly optimistic about its prospects. “It’s not just about daisy-chaining speech recognition, machine translation, and speech synthesis,” he said. “It’s a deep neural net that you build which synthesizes a model to be able to do speech recognition in pretty magical ways.” The somewhat fantastic claim that Microsoft is making is that the app will learn language in much the same way that a human brain would. How much of a game-changer this technology will be remains to be seen but we are certainly excited to try it out.
Retro Game Challenge 2 Gets an English Makeover
For the nerdier set among us that played role-playing videogames in the late 80s and early 90s, poor translations were a given in most games and sometimes greatly affected playability. So it comes as a great relief that a videogame for the Nintendo DS aimed at bringing back some old-school classics has gotten a fan-made makeover for its text-based adventures. Retro Game Challenge 2 takes players back to the 8-bit era with a slew of gaming challenges which players must overcome in order to win virtual gaming magazines that contain the hints and cheats that old geeks like myself thrived on.
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