Posted by: Alessia
Hello! Today is my first day as a member of the Veritas team, and my first ever blog post (ever), so I will be breaking the virtual ice by sharing a sad event which occurred over the bank holiday weekend. My aging Smartphone suffered some kind of critical malfunction, so I now have to make do with a not-so-smart phone.
The thing with Smartphones is that all their apps and technological capabilities seem completely superfluous when you don’t own one, but as soon as you become accustomed to being able to read the news at the bus stop, or check your email on the train, or use free messaging apps for talking to friends abroad, suddenly not having these capabilities seems like a great inconvenience.
Having recently decided that maybe I’d like to learn Spanish, one of the apps I was just getting into using on a frequent basis was a beginners’ language app, which I downloaded after a quick search for language learning apps on my phone. There are plenty to choose from, in all kinds of language combinations, but obviously the quality does vary. I chose one purely because the name amused me (‘Spanish for Noobs’), and got the trial version, just to see what it was like, as it was the first app of its kind I ...Continue Reading →
Why is machine translation so bad? Is it honestly going to give me an issue when I use it instead of getting a professional translation done? The biggest issue is that a professional translator will understand the context and intricate meaning of the content and this is something which you cannot replicate with a software product. So, you can lose meaning and local cultural elements which mean the text you spent so much time writing in the original language, becomes garbled in translation.
Even with a simple translation, such as the paragraph above, you can see that the result is not guaranteed to be what you intended:
Why machine translation is that bad? Case honestly gives me a problem when I try to use it instead of getting a professional translation? The biggest problem is that a professional translator to understand the context and meaning of content and this can not be replicated with the software product.
This was the original text translated from English into Arabic and then back into English using a popular product, in fact the site warns me that machine translations are only 70% accurate.
So you need to make the decision, when you have spent time and money creating your content do you really want at least 30% of its meaning to be lost in translation?
This figure is much higher when you consider more complex ...Continue Reading →
Posted by: Maria
There has been a lot of fuss in the translation industry about the collaboration between the EPO (European Patent Office) and Google for patent translation services into multiple languages. It appears that the EPO and Google have been working together to create a translation service which will be optimised for patent documents and will make use of Google’s Translate technology. Such news, however, has triggered different responses within the translation world and has been greeted with disbelief among the patent specialists. In order to understand their scepticism, it is useful to take a look at what patent translation involves and why appropriate treatment and expertise are necessary.
So what is Patent Translation?
If taking out a patent on new intellectual property is a complex process itself, just imagine what it takes to let the world know about it and at the same time be certain that you maintain your legal rights. Patent translation is the translation of patents and any associated documents required for patent offices, law firms and large corporations. In this sense, patent translation represents a crossroads between technical and legal translation and therefore requires a specialised professional and unique quality assurance standards. Translating the language of a patent requires specific technical knowledge and a small mistake can cost millions of pounds or negate years of research.
In this respect, it is not ...Continue Reading →
Posted by: laura
Yesterday I read this article about a man in Dundee accused of some pretty horrid crimes. I would not be so crass as to discuss a case in court before the verdict but one thing about the article struck me as odd. The judge accepted the individual’s plea of not guilty, translated through a mobile phone app rather than through an interpreter.
According to the BBC News story: ”He speaks no English and there is no interpreter. I have taken instructions this morning via an iPhone translation app. ”The Crown summary of evidence and complaint was given to him in Polish but he can’t understand today’s proceedings.”
I wondered why no interpreter had been found for the defendant. It seems it must be incredibly expensive to have to postpone the case! Each postponed case costs the taxpayer, according to a Channel 4 News article something like £1,000. So why wasn’t an interpreter found? The article itself does not make it clear why. During the ALS fiasco, which was the subject of a recent commons select committee hearing, we heard lots of terrifying stories of poorly qualified interpreters turning up to court, or cases abandoned because no interpreter could be found!
I worry that the experience of ALS has left the court system looking for other ...Continue Reading →
Contrary to what many people believe, no piece of software can produce human-quality technical translations. Yet this doesn’t mean that computers have no place in the translation industry, and developments in CAT (Computer-Assisted Translation) technology have meant that technical translators can use CAT tools to increase their productivity and ensure consistency.
So, what are these CAT tools, and what do they do?
CAT tools come in several different forms, and should not be confused with MT (Machine Translation) systems. While MT software is able to automatically translate texts in their entirety, their output can be unreliable. This is due to the fact that computers can’t understand the context in which words appear. At best, this means that translations may sound a little clunky and strange. At worst, translations can be incomprehensible, often to the point of hilarity (just google ‘bad translations’ – you’ll soon see!).
The difference between CAT and MT software is that MT is designed to do all the work itself, and CAT tools are designed to simplify the process for translators. Some CAT tools include Translation Memory (TM) programmes, and Termbases. This software is particularly useful in technical translations, where there is often a lot of terminology to keep track of.
TM software saves previous translations, and can suggest translations for matching phrases in future technical translations. While this might not be very useful when translating literature, it can greatly ...Continue Reading →