Thursday, April 30, 2009

Will Trados Translate Alone?

News for you: SDL and Language Weaver, a leader in statistically-based automated language translation have gone into a "strategic alliance" (I wonder who swallowed whom?) to - hold on to your keyboard - deliver Language Weaver’s translation software tightly integrated into SDL’s GIM platform and as part of SDL Knowledge-based Translation System.

In case it hasn't struck you yet, a translation memory software sitting atop a machine translation software. It sends the shivers up my spine.

So now your role, the slave of Trados already, will be to input your human translation into the TM, give it to your client, who will fit it into the MT and pronto! you are a DT (dead translator!).

And here is some more scary stuff for localisers: "Language Weaver automated translation solutions have been deployed for the enterprise and large web properties to deliver compelling translations of digital content. This partnership will give SDL customers the opportunity to deliver effective communication to customers across many more languages." Hey, guys, the billions are running out of the window (or is it your laptop screen that's getting dimmer?)

The companies announced that the agreement encompasses a number of different applications of automated translation, including:

• Translation of content that is otherwise too expensive or time consuming to translate, such as online support content that re-directs customers from expensive call centers to more cost-effective self-service on the web

• Integrating automated translation into the translation process for high-quality technical documentation, taking up to 40 percent of the cost and 50 percent of the time out of the process without sacrificing quality and enabling translation teams to translate more, reduce backlog and serve more markets

• Providing ubiquitous access to automated translation, through integration into the industry-standard desktop translation technology, SDL Trados®, and integration into the world’s most popular translation website

Don't you just luv the way they sprinkle us in there, just in case we suffer anxiety attacks after reading this and start clamouring for copyright to our TMs, or worse, throw the Trados suite out of the window?

We want to offer our customers the widest possible choice of translation solutions, all integrated into a single managed environment,” said Mark Lancaster, chairman and CEO of SDL. Preferably one without those pesky human linguists. The partnership will allow our customers to maximize the leverage of previous translations held in translation memory and achieve the best possible quality for automated translation. This offers enterprises new opportunities to drive cost out of global content translation processes, which is particularly important in these tough economic times.” I assume the "tough economic times" are sweet music in the ears of SDL. As for us, bread and water on some remote Aussie inland station sounds like a livable alternative.

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