How CAT tool technology can make you more productive and help improve translation quality


Generally, this is called Computer Assisted Translation, or Computer Aided Translation (both abbreviated to CAT), to define all the systems in which a translator uses specific computer programs as an aid to the translation process.

In the most common sense used by professionals, the term CAT tool, simply CAT refers to a subset of CAT programs proper: the one that includes programs for translation with the aid of memories.

In other words, a memory is nothing more than a database, whose registers made up of fragments of an original text with the corresponding translations, together with a series of attributes. These attributes can be mandatory (such as creation date), or optional (creator name, auditor name, etc.). The text units called segments correspond to the individual phrases.

Some authors prefer to speak of the Translation Environment Tool (abbreviated to TEnT), a term coined to better reflect the current state of translation programs, which group together several functions that go far beyond the simple management of translation memories. Current translation programmes offer terminology management, text analysis, spelling correction, project management and much more.


Advantages of a CAT tool

The typical advantages of translation memories and CAT tools for a professional translator are many:

The risk of leaving parts untranslated is minimized, as CAT tools do not allow the presence of segments with no target text.

It improves the uniformity of both internal and external text (if you work on more than one document); CAT tools always return the same translation for each identical source text.

Productivity is increased (the number of words translated in a given period), as Identical segments (also called 100% matches) are translated once, while similar segments (so-called fuzzy matches) are partially translated by the program.

This last advantage is particularly evident when translating the second version of a document in which most of the content remains unchanged.

Translation of subtitles







Does your content strategy include the production of video files?

If the answer is no, you should know that viewing a video can enhance your users' comprehension of a product or service.

If the answer is yes, it is a wise decision to add subtitles to the videos.


Why subtitling?

Research has shown that subtitles improve the way a video is understood. Besides, subtitles are one of the most profitable ways to make a video available in many languages. And that's more than that: they can also boost the number of plays and improve the positioning of your site in search engines.


The art of subtitling

The accurate transmission of an oral message in text form, taking into account character and time constraints, is a very complex task requiring skilled language and subtitling professionals.


It's not just a question of accessibility

Subtitles have always been used to make audio-visual content accessible to deaf or hard of hearing people. Today, however, video users around the world can enjoy the integration of subtitles in multimedia materials, particularly taking into account the fact that most of the videos accessed online give information about products and services.


Improved user experience

In many situations, subtitles can greatly improve users' enjoyment of video:

Following the text on the screen is very useful when the speaker has a particular accent, speaks quickly, or uses little-known terminology.

Subtitles make it easier to follow unclear dialogues due to background noise or poor audio quality. Subtitling is also a key factor for people learning a second language, especially for vocabulary.

It has been shown that videos with subtitles are more easily remembered and ease engagement and sharing. All this contributes to making the video more accessible, relevant and easy to locate.


SEO Video Services

A good user experience helps to improve organic search results for your videos. Also, embedding videos on your site can help you improve your page rank. However, search engines are not able to index audio-visual content.

This is where subtitles and transcripts come into play. Also to metadata such as titles, tags or descriptions, subtitles and transcripts help search engines index and understand video content, resulting in better search results.


The power of YouTube

With over 1 billion users visiting YouTube every month, subtitles and transcripts play an important role on this platform.

Not only can they help reach a multilingual audience worldwide, but it has also been shown that subtitling increases YouTube views.


Translations Universe Subtitling Services

Our global network of subtitle language professionals satisfies a wide range of language combinations. We have the experience, resources and expertise to subtitle business presentations, training videos, audio security messages and audio and video communications over the Internet, so you can reach a global audience with your message.

To find out more about our subtitling services, do not hesitate to contact us.

(Why) translating a multilingual website is essential

The current business environment is an international and multilingual environment. Companies are exporting more and more products and services abroad.
The company website becomes one of the main means of spreading the value created by the company in the home. It is a source of information with which a company presents itself as a foreign consumer.
Users prefer to surf on websites and e-commerce translated into their own language so that they can better understand the content.
Competing in an international market means providing information to use products and services in a correct and understandable way. Companies undertaking an international strategy must translate the contents of their web pages to meet the needs of both domestic and foreign customers/consumers. It is so important to have a multilingual website.
The corporate website translation allows you to cross national borders
Translating a website is not a single, simple transposition from one language to another, it cannot be done automatically or by using automatic translators, although there are many software and programs that ease translation. These tools alone are not accurate and do not consider some important aspects of professional translations. It is important that it is entrusted to professionals who can provide a service suited to the needs of the company.
The company must invest in translation and help access to visitors and not dissolve the image in its environment of origin.
An important point is to analyze the target audience, i.e. which consumers and users will use the site. This way you can learn in-depth which languages users speak.
Localization is a process by which the specialized translator as well as translating the site adapts the content to the culture of the target language. Thus, many cultural factors influencing translation are considered. The site must be designed in such a way that it can be adapted to all languages. Besides an efficient and controlled translation, the site must have certain features that are the basis of a good service. The activity includes many elements, besides the content considering the actual text, must be translated and localized: graphic elements, captions, pagination, any currencies if it is an e-commerce, practically all the elements of the site and not just part of them. We must also consider programming languages in HTML.
It is useful to remember, finally, that a quality translation offers greater optimization and usability of the site in the target language. This is essential from an SEO perspective.
Website translation is an important process for companies that decide to undertake internationalization. It is necessary to entrust the translation to experienced and qualified professionals able to offer a service suitable to the needs of the client.

Artificial Intelligence and New Technologies: the Modern Corner of Translation?









A few years Since 2007 Google, with Translate, Microsoft and other web giants, have been distributing statistical machine translation: from semi-comics, machine translations, although not perfect, sometimes began to become also serviceable products, especially if adjusted through appropriate human interventions.

In 2011, the futurologist and cybernetic Ray Kurzweil predicted in an interview with the Huffington Post that by 2029 machine translation will be able to replace humans.

Since summer 2016, neural machine translation has appeared.


What occurred

On September 26, 2016, Google Brain, the Artificial Intelligence Applications Research Group, announced the release of a new neural network-based machine translation system. On 17 October Systran made a similar announcement and on 15 November Microsoft's blog informed that Microsoft Translator is now also available in "neural version". In May 2017, Facebook announced that it wanted to evolve towards convolutional neural networks. These would be nine times faster in the training of the recurrent neural networks introduced instead almost on the label on the platforms of the group Facebook, Instagram and Workplace from June 2016. And meanwhile, other computer giants such as Apple, Amazon, and Baidu are also investing in artificial intelligence.

It is claimed that this technology would be able to produce translations that are much more accurate and comparable to human translation.

It seems that the work of the future, not only that of translators, will be managed by artificial intelligence (thanks to its ability to learn by itself, that is to say by so-called machine learning) and by robots and applications, with all the economic and social consequences that this entails.

The machines are beginning to "think" and are destined to replace human work even in activities considered complex.

For example, Google and Tesla are well ahead in the development of driverless cars, which foreshadow a revolution in individual mobility. Will there still be taxi drivers in our near future?


What is artificial intelligence?

Artificial intelligence is the discipline that studies ways of reproducing the most complex mental processes through the use of computers. To achieve this, it uses systems that involve the acquisition and processing of data and information (both from outside and contained in the system in an organized manner) on the basis of appropriate models.

Artificial intelligence has today abandoned the idea of building a pre-constituted system of rules and data, according to symbolic logic, to allow machines to interact with the real world.

The best results have now come from systems using automatic learning, where machines learn in the field from real data and orientate their operation.

Deep learning is the term used to describe a particular class of algorithms for machine automatic learning, which uses neural networks.


Statistical translation and neural translation: the example of Google

Statistical automatic translators, such as the "old" Google Translate, are "Phrase-Based Machine Translation" systems that have more or less large databases of linguistic matches from one language to another, plus preloaded rules for each language pair.

With these systems a sentence was translated for fragments, locutions or groups of words, found on Google servers, within immense multilingual corpora, in a similar way to what is done by searching in the translation memories of a CAT tool.

The result was then readjusted by the system, interpolating the translation with dictionaries and using interlanguage models to return the correct construction of the sentence in the various languages.

Output has always been good: very good for several languages, but enough or poor for some languages (in particular German and Finnish, among European languages). With variations sometimes due to punctuation, word order and more, which have originated a series of recommendations for pre-editing text.

In any case, the next sentence was the one that started from the beginning and did not take into account the result (good or bad) of the translation of the previous sentence.

The peculiarity of neural networks is their ability to transform data from large unstructured sets to smaller sets with high semantic density. In the neural machine translation, the system, Google explains, reads the original text word for word and word for word translates it, trying to give weight to the distribution of the words of the original text read and their relationship with each translated word.

The system analyzes the entire sentence as a single unit to be translated preserving the context and also managing to translate sequences with punctuation and complex grammatical articulation, as well as paragraphs of meaning completed.

The improvement in translation accuracy observed so far is surprising and is destined, over time, to be improved by machine learning, as opposed to previous systems, which were closed systems.


Why and what will human translators still be needed?

Will the automation of translation of any kind make translators superfluous? Probably not, or at least not soon. However, new ways and practices in interlingual communication will develop and will require new knowledge and skills that need to be learned... Let's try to list some of them.

Translators will, of course, need to have a high level of technological expertise. They will need to have a culture, writing skills and in-depth linguistic and sectoral knowledge to be able to assess the difficulties and quality of the texts. They will have to be able to handle large quantities of texts in a limited time. They will have to be able to assess whether it is appropriate to translate automatically, assess the amount of post-editing, be able to subject a text to pre-editing before its translation, be able to write translations (controlled writing), be able to train TA systems or adapt them to special needs.

Translators will become managers of multilingual translation or editing projects. A bit 'editors, editors, project managers, but above all more and more reviewers. Before and after the translation, carried out by the machine. This is not, after all, a completely new issue, but it is now becoming evident. For some time now, writing has meant interacting with a variety of technologies and digital memories (dictionaries, glossaries, databases, corpora, search engines, etc.).

Since the main effect of the technological revolution has been the enormous increase in our possibilities of storing data, a large part of the translator's activity consists in the search for suitable sources (memories) before writing and in various forms of intralinguistic translation or adaptation (revision, correction of segments, post-editing, etc.) after writing.

Thus, for years now the translator's work has consisted to a large extent in assembling (copying and pasting) fragments recovered from some kind of digital memory: portions of text, expressions or terms recovered from previous works, search engine results, electronic dictionaries, glossaries, terminological databases, parallel corpora found on the web, bitext, translation memories or, indeed, from pre translations provided by machine translation systems. The patchwork or "sentence salad" made up of all the segments and fragments generated by such a way of working must then be arranged in the post-translation or revision phase, taking into account the degree of accuracy required.


The question is: do the current translation course programmes help to develop these skills? Looking around a bit, the answer is that for the trainers of future translators there is definitely a lot of work to be done...


To conduct an etymological examination of "Easter" we must refer to the English term "Easter" which would bring us back to ancient cults related to the coming of spring and in particular to an ancient pagan goddess, the goddess Eostre. The name seems to come from "Aus" or "Aes" and that is East, so it is a divinity linked to the rising sun and its heat, after all the theme of fires and the return of the star will be a recurring theme in the continuation of Easter traditions. Grimm, a well-known scholar of Nordic mythology in his "Teutonic Mythology" describes Heroes as a pagan divinity bearer of fertility and connects it to the light of the East and in particular to the Spring equinox that was called by the Celtic peoples "Eostur-Monath" and later "Ostara".



An interesting Easter tradition is the exchange of chocolate eggs, in Germany for example there is the custom that children, on Easter Sunday morning, called Ostern, go looking in the gardens of the houses of eggs hidden by the "Easter Rabbit", in England they can roll on the road colored boiled eggs until the shell is completely broken. This tradition is strongly linked to the cult of the goddess described above. The symbol of the goddess is the hare or rabbit, which in reality represents the same divinity that becomes immanent and conceives itself as a forest divinity. The animal, then, is not accidental, but chosen not only for its famous reproductive qualities but also because, according to the Germans, the black areas of the moon would represent the hare, thus attesting to the sacredness of the animal. Even the egg is not chosen by chance but has always been a symbol of rebirth. For the primitive hunter and collector, Spring brought birds to lay their eggs and therefore to have a new livelihood after the austerity of winter. The egg becomes so powerful talisman of fertility and life as witnessed by the customs of the sacred eggs Russian or Ukrainian where eating this food would celebrate the rebirth of the sun and the return of the seasons of abundance. The eating of eggs, thus, becomes a collective ritual of participation in the new life and therefore in the resurrection.


An interesting tradition is that of the so-called Adonis Gardens: in particular in the eastern area, under the names of Tammuz and Adonis, the decadence and annual rebirth of life were venerated and even if the sources around these gods are fragmentary and obscure, we deduce that they died every year and then resurrected. A kind of garden was dedicated to them, which was nothing more than a symbol based on the principle of Imitative Magic, that is, that similar produces similarity: making these flowering gardens was a way to encourage the growth of crops. The symbolism of the lamb, or rather of the "kid", is also closely linked to the arboreal cult in the same meaning as the hare for the goddess Eostre. The goat, in fact, wandering in the woods, gnaws at the bark of the trees, causing them considerable damage, so only the god of vegetation feeds on the plant it personified, and therefore the same animal can only be sacred. As with eggs, the wild eating the meat of the animal believes he buys and absorbs a part of the gods. Therefore, the feeding of animals sacred to God is a solemn sacrament like the celebration of Jesus, represented by a Lamb that still today, in many parts of Italy is consumed.


Closely connected with the rituals of vegetation and rebirth is the Easter tradition of lighting bonfires. The so-called fires of joy from which the tradition of the Easter candle would then derive. In Germany, for example, farmers collect all the dry branches they find in their countryside and then burn them at a huge stake and spread ashes in the fields to produce a harvest, while brightly braces are brought into the houses to protect them from evil spirits. We also find such rituals in many other parts of Europe as well as in Italy. Tradition is well combined with the concept of Imitative Magic very dear to the primitive, in fact, the festival linked to the spring equinox is closely linked to the rebirth of the Sun after his death, darkness and light are equivalent to then take over the latter. The rituals were thus a way of imitating the path of the star or even of bringing part of its heat to earth in fact the custom of making fire wheels rock down a hill or running in the fields with torches lit makes it just pass through an imitation of the solar path in the sky: a mystical interweaving of cultures and beliefs that merge into ancient rituals and symbols that are lost in the mists of time.

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