The ATA Chronicle - January/February 2021 - 30

RESOURCE REVIEW

By Jost Zetzsche

American software company
to train domain-specific MT
systems. The goal was to
increase translator
productivity: the company
was continually localizing
more than 180 software
products from English into
30+ languages at the time.
Initially, I was naive
enough to think that I would
be able to interact with
the translators who used
our pre-translations to get
suggestions for improving the
MT systems, but the company
used multiple vendors who,
often through additional
sub-vendors, chopped up and
distributed translation jobs to
freelancers around the globe. I
soon realized that MT quality

(More) Advanced
Human-Computer Interaction
for Translators
A Conversation with Samuel Läubli and Nico Herbig

wasn't the most pressing
issue, even with the rather
disfluent output that phrasebased systems produced at
the time. At least that output
could be deleted, compared
to " exact matches " that were
locked (i.e., uneditable) in the
computer-assisted translation
(CAT) tool.

Still on a high from the conversation I had a few months ago with
Lynne Bowker, Vassilina Nikoulina, and Sharon O'Brien about " Women
and Machine Translation " 1, I had another idea after I read about Nico

I also saw how translators
were tasked with translating
strings from software user
interfaces without any means

Herbig's work on a much more hands-on interface for post-editing

of seeing what that interface

(see links at the end of this piece) and Samuel Läubli's ideas about

looked like. MT wasn't (and

2

3

more meaningful integrations of machine translation (MT) in the

isn't) necessarily good at
translating " MENU, " but

translation process. I reached out to them and-spoiler alert-it turned

neither were professional

out to be another really great conversation.

translators if they didn't
know whether it was part of
a navigation component or

Jost

30

Samuel Läubli and
Nico Herbig, thanks

Samuel

Sure! I got really
interested in MT

a description of an item in a
virtual restaurant.

for agreeing to have this

when I studied computational

conversation! I invited you

linguistics in Zurich, so I

left with the impression

because of your work on the

went to the University of

that the way in which the

usability aspects of

Edinburgh for my master's

translation industry builds

translation environments.

degree because I heard they

and uses technology was just

But before we start,

had a fantastic research

broken. So, I moved back

would you like to quickly

group. I graduated in 2014

into research-perhaps a bit

introduce yourselves?

and got a job offer from an

naive again-with the hope

The ATA Chronicle | Januar y/February 2021

After two years, I was

www.atanet.org


http://www.atanet.org

The ATA Chronicle - January/February 2021

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