Machine translation, quality and usability – the SDL roadshow, June 2018

SDL Trados Roadshow June 2018

The June 2018 edition of the SDL Trados roadshow in Zurich covered everything from user experience and quality optimisation to machine translation and SDL Trados 2019. Here are the highlights.

SDL Trados Studio 2019 – expected release summer/autumn 2018

No revolutionary changes here. The focus is rather on improving the user experience. The main enhancements we can look forward to include:

  • Usability: access to everything from Studio using the ‘Tell me’ function. Tips suggested to user from within Studio
  • Project creation efficiency: new Project Assistant and ‘metro plan’ bar so you can track progress
  • Optimised QA: language-specific QA settings to improve accuracy of results
  • Add/update project files: easier to add/update files from within project with ‘quick add new file’ function. Runs all batch tasks at same time. Custom or default batch tasks available
  • TM Editor: new functions including ability to go to specific page, see total page numbers, up to 1000 TUs visible per page
  • Visio files can now be translated in Studio

Machine translation – the hot topic

The general message here was ‘it’s here to stay this time, so embrace it’. The team emphasised the benefits of using MT, but only where it makes sense. They stressed that post-editing should be seen only as an alternative to translation, and always followed by a proofread.

Different MT approaches/potential application areas:

  • Human translation: where both style and substance are paramount. E.g. advertising material, legal documents, newsletter content
  • Publishable quality post-editing: where grammar and style are important. For texts that will be published. Use CAT tools with TMs/termbases. Useful for websites, support, handbooks, etc.
  • Light post-editing: where meaning trumps style. For texts that won’t be published, e.g. knowledge bases, FAQs, Wikis
  • Unadjusted MT: use where few readers will go, e.g. in the depths of a website rarely visited by clients/users, such as user forums and chats

The Language Cloud: the MT solution from SDL

SDL claimed feedback thus far has been positive. Overall, translators say using the Language Cloud and its various features saves them valuable time. It offers the following benefits:

  • Ability to create client-specific MT engines
  • Adaptive MT engines, i.e. translation engines that self-learn from corrections made by translators and proofreaders
  • Access to standard MT engines
  • Data storage in the client’s own secure zone in the cloud. Though, as with any cloud-based software, the risk of hacking cannot be completely eliminated.
  • Where data security is at a premium, Enterprise Translation Server (ETS) is SDL’s alternative, secure on-site solution

Quality

‘The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.’ (Benjamin Franklin)

What is quality?

  • 89% of people in a 2017 SDL survey said that quality was more important to them than cost.
  • Quality has different definitions in different situations, e.g. by industry, text type, target audience, publication, etc.
  • For a translator, quality is about producing what the client wants and doing it on time.

And finally, here are some app suggestions for translators and proofreaders who want to boost translation quality and keep their clients – and Supertext – happy:

  • Number Verifier: use when lots of numbers are involved
  • Qualitivity: Trados productivity tracking plugin
  • checkTerm: verify terminology (monolingual or bilingual checks)
  • SDLXLIFF Compare: integrated into Studio. Compare changes in SDLXLIFF files or projects, e.g. who changed what, when, etc.
  • MSWord Grammar Checker: note that this plugin can slow down Trados and has issues if you run Word in any language other than EN, so approach with caution
  • Glossary Converter: quickly convert Excels to TBs

Cover image via Pexels (CC0)



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