The ATA Chronicle - November/December 2020 - 29

Some very interesting recent work on gender bias in MT
has been done by Eva Vanmassenhove, who recently
completed her PhD on MT at the School of Computing at Dublin
City University and who is now an assistant professor at Tilburg
University in the Netherlands.8 Vanmassenhove looked at how
corpus-based MT systems, such as neural MT systems, can
perpetuate and even exaggerate any gender bias found in the
training corpora. So, this is a case where a woman MT researcher
explored the topic of gender bias, and perhaps that's a topic that
would not necessarily have been investigated as readily by a man.
Thanks to this work, Google Translate has undertaken to seek
ways to reduce gender bias in their system, which means that the
MT output of tomorrow will hopefully look different than the MT
output of today. I also agree with Vassilina that finding ways to
bring MT developers and those who study user issues in MT
together for more conversations is also important. And I think
there actually has been improvement in this area in recent years.
The MT Summit conferences, as well as some European
Association for MT conferences are increasingly offering different
" tracks " (e.g., research and development track, user track, etc.),
which offer opportunities for people with different interests in MT
to come together and share and learn from each other. Let's hope
this trend continues!

L

This is a difficult question to answer without simply
speculating, but I find myself echoing the thoughts of
Vassilina and Lynne. Much more emphasis has been placed
recently on the end user experience of MT. This has actually
been driven from the translation side of the house (for obvious
reasons), the majority of whom are women. We want to know
how good MT is, for what types of text, domains, for which
use-case scenarios, and how it impacts a wide variety of users.
We are also asking questions about ethics, fair use, etc.
(Although this discussion is not only driven by women!) The
field is much richer when different types of researchers and
users come together. I would like to see more of that!

S

4.	

Isabelle, Pierre, and Kuhn, Roland. A Challenge Set for French →
English Machine Translation (National Research Council of Canada,
2018), http://bit.ly/Pierre-challenge-MT.

5.	

Jun-sul, Yeo. " Naver Updates Translation Service for
Korean Honorifics, " The Korean Herald (January 17, 2019),
http://bit.ly/Naver-Korean-honorifics.

6.	

Samson, Natalie, and Anqi Shen. " A History of Canada's
Full-Time Faculty in Six Charts " (University Affairs, 2018),
http://bit.ly/Canada-faculty.

7.	

Cummings, Madeleine. " Pay Gap between Male and Female
Professors Continues to Plague Canadian Universities, " CBC
(September 28, 2020), http://bit.ly/Professors-pay-gap.

8.	

Vanmassenhove, Eva, Christian Hardmeier, and Andy Way.
" Getting Gender Right in Neural Machine Translation. " In the
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Empirical Methods in
Natural Language Processing (Association for Computational
Linguistics, 2018), http://bit.ly/gender-right-NMT.

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.

I really want to thank you for this conversation. I
learned so much. I also want to thank you all for your
work and the thoughtfulness with which you conduct it.

J

Remember, if you have any ideas and/or suggestions regarding helpful
resources or tools you would like to see featured, please e-mail Jost
Zetzsche at jzetzsche@internationalwriters.com.
NOTES
1.	
Zetzsche, Jost. " Thoughts on Naver Papago with MT Engineer
Lucy Park, " The ATA Chronicle (November/December 2019), 30,
http://bit.ly/Naver-Papago.
2.	

Microsoft: Global Diversity and Inclusion,
http://bit.ly/microsoft-diversity.

3.	

Isabelle, Pierre, Colin Cherry, and George Foster. " A Challenge Set
Approach to Evaluating Machine Translation. " In the Proceedings
of the 2017 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language
Processing (Association for Computational Linguistics, 2017),
http://bit.ly/Isabelle-Pierre.

www.atanet.org

American Translators Association

29


http://www.bit.ly/Pierre-challenge-MT http://www.bit.ly/Naver-Korean-honorifics http://www.bit.ly/Canada-faculty http://www.bit.ly/Professors-pay-gap http://www.bit.ly/gender-right-NMT http://www.bit.ly/Naver-Papago http://go.depaul.edu/lenguages http://www.bit.ly/microsoft-diversity http://www.bit.ly/Isabelle-Pierre http://www.atanet.org

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