The ATA Chronicle - September/October 2020 - 34

BUSINESS DIVERSIFICATION? continued

way, is partly funded by the European
Union-is based on legal assumptions
described in a white paper that TAUS
recently published in cooperation with a
legal and consultancy firm.4 The central
sentiment of the white paper might be
summarized in this statement: "But, at
the end of the day when the lawyers
have gone home, we as professionals in
the translation industry have to use our
own common sense and do what's right.
We have to ask ourselves very practical
questions and follow a set of simple
rules to reduce regulatory risk and
enhance our compliance."
The paper examines the legal situation
according to laws, how jurisdictions
have responded to the use and sharing
of language data and translation data
(the term "translation data" is used to
refer to metadata within translation
memories), and actual practice across
the board. While this might not appear
relevant to everyone, if your clients are
particularly concerned about privacy
and the use of their data, it seems to be
a reasonable approach.
TAUS also discovered that it's often
not particularly helpful to look only
at "translation data" (i.e., the data
that describes the translated bilingual
34

The ATA Chronicle | September/October 2020

language data if you want to buy it
for a certain purpose). Instead, the
team developed algorithms to look
more deeply into the existing language
data and filter out what's useful for a
particular purpose.
So, while it will still be possible to
buy bilingual data that matches certain
criteria, such as "English>Romanian
software localization data," it will also be
possible to have the tool look through
the entire English>Romanian corpus
and filter out the segments it identifies
as helpful for a certain set of documents
it was supplied with to find that data.
Any provider of the data would be paid
based on the number of segments used
from their own contribution. The data
will be used almost exclusively for MT
training. (It could, of course, be used for
translation memory purposes as well,
but TAUS's experience has taught it that
it's unlikely).
Also, any data that's offered for
purchase is cleaned. For instance, this
would include the deletion of source
duplicates with different targets,
reflecting different stages of editing
(recognize that problem??), as well as
large amounts of tags being deleted, the
reduction of obvious erroneous entries,

and so on. This cleaned translation
memory will then be offered on the
marketplace, but it's also likely to
be handed back to the original data
provider as an added incentive.
When Jaap asked me whether this
would be an interesting proposition for
translators, I gave an answer I know
many of you won't be happy with. I said
that six months ago, I wouldn't have
necessarily thought so. But now, in the
midst of the crisis? Maybe.
Clearly, there has been a lot of talk
about diversification among translators.
There has been the realization that
while specialization is really important,
it might just as be important to have
more than one (so you won't be
completely without work overnight if
your specialization doesn't meet the
needs of a time like we're in right now).
But there's also been a lot of talk about
diversification beyond that.
I have always encouraged everyone to
have some kind of professional offering
beyond "just" translation. Not so much
for business reasons, mind you, but
more for reasons of sanity. For many of
us, of course, the "business" reason now
stands in the foreground.
Might data trading be an additional
business for some of us? You tell me. TAUS
will be able to add to that conversation in
the months that follow the unveiling of its
new system in October.
NOTES
1.	
Translation Automation User Society,
www.taus.net.
2.	

"Reinventing the Translation Industry,"
http://bit.ly/TAUS-2020.

3.	

TAUS Data Cloud ecosystem,
https://data-app.taus.net.

4.	

"Who Owns My Language Data?"
(Translation Automation User Society),
http://bit.ly/TAUS-white-paper.

Jost Zetzsche, CT is chair
of ATA's Translation and
Interpreting Resources
Committee. He is the author
of Translation Matters,
a collection of 81 essays
about translators and translation technology.
Contact: jzetzsche@internationalwriters.com.
www.atanet.org


http://www.taus.net http://www.bit.ly/TAUS-2020 https://data-app.taus.net http://www.bit.ly/TAUS-white-paper http://www.atanet.org

The ATA Chronicle - September/October 2020

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