I had believed that that there is very little formal training around and then Renato reminded us that regional associations play an important role in providing training. The next ELIA conference in Dublin in particular has a very strong focus on innovation and translation automation technology in addition to the traditional localization themes. I have found these smaller regional shows to be more effective in providing useful training and allows a much deeper dive into the reasons why this makes sense. The ELIA event has singled out MT and affiliated technologies as worthy of serious attention in direct response to member requests. I think this is wonderful not only because I have a prominent role at this event, as I will be presenting a keynote on broad changes impacting the overall world of translation as well as doing a detailed training session on how to get started with MT technology for those who really want to get down and dirty. It is also a sign that this technology can take the next step with technology developers and translation practitioners working together. I am a big believer in dialog, and this event is an example I think of an honest attempt to build this dialog.
In the keynote session I will look at how 2 billion+ internet users, community and crowdsourcing initiatives, translation technology, ever improving free MT, new attitudes to open collaboration and data sharing are impacting the professional translation world. I will explore how the shift to the project-less, translation-as-utility world will require new skills and new services from language service providers, explore and comment on emerging innovation and also point to the ever increasing market potential that becomes available to industry innovators who have competence with and understand the new dynamics.
I will also run a training session that will go over MT technology in some detail and provide basic background on the technology fundamentals and point to what I think are keys to being successful with MT. I will try and make this as practical and useful as possible answering questions about RbMT vs. SMT, MT engine customization strategies, MT quality assessment and relationship to post-editing effort, understanding data, skills required for different tasks etc. I believe that innovative LSPs will be the driving force behind creating really amazing MT systems in future and I will focus on the skills that I think will be most critical to enabling this kind of success.I will also explore new business opportunities that MT can enable to get you out of the software and documentation localization market. Hopefully this session is highly interactive and I am open to communication about what participants might want to most focus on and understand. The session is on Monday October 11th so please feel free to communicate with me on this before then.
As we setup translation production lines to handle 10X or 100X more content in the future we will need to link key processes together. Information quality focused processes and integrated and efficient post-editing will also be necessary to build efficiency. MT alone is not enough to solve the problems we face in the future and I think it will also be critical to learn how to clean up and “improve” source content before any kind of translation attempt. Frans Wijma will also provide guidance on Simplified Technical English which will provide attendees some insight on the IQ, controlled language, source simplification issue. Something that will be increasingly valuable to learn and do in future.
Those who stay in the MT track will also get to hear Sharon O’Brien talking about post-editing MT. She will answer all the following questions: How does post-editing of Machine Translation output differ from revision or QA activities in the localization domain? Are translators the best post-editors? Do they need specific experience and training? What guidelines should be given to post-editors? What productivity enhancements can be reasonably expected? Why do translators seem to dislike this task? I saw her speak at LRC (one of the best conferences I attended last year) and she has great insight and advice to offer on this subject.
And if that weren't enough to make you sign right up, there are also some great sessions on sales strategies for LSPs from non other than Renato, localization basics and next generation localization research from CSA, CNGL and the Gilbane Group. And all at a fraction of the cost of larger conferences. Check out the ELIA site for more details.
I hope to see you there and for those of you who don’t know, I am easily persuaded onto the karaoke floor. No alcohol required but unfortunately this is not because I necessarily sing so well. I went to a Jesuit (Boys only) School in India and had a teacher of mixed Indian/Portuguese (Goanese) extraction who used to exhort:
“Sing with gusto boys! Don’t worry about the notes, you will find them.”
This is advice I have taken to heart, as my karaoke friends from the IMTT Cordoba 2009 event will also tell you. In spite of having nothing more than a laptop with tiny speakers to provide musical backing, we sang with gusto till dawn and indeed we did eventually find the notes. ;-)