The ATA Chronicle - January/February 2021 - 32

RR

" Since most computer-assisted translation
tools don't integrate but merely connect to
machine translation systems, they only send
very basic information. "
Samuel Läubli
send very basic information,
typically the source segment
to be MT-ed alongside two
language codes. If CAT tools
were that loosely coupled
with translation memories
and term bases (TBs), you
would never see features
like real-time subsegment
matching or predictive typing.
So, if you're asking yourself
why MT doesn't update as
you edit a target segment or
doesn't respect the very terms
displayed in the CAT tool's
terminology pane, it's not
because MT can't do that, but
because the CAT tool doesn't
send it to the MT system.

Jost

Let me interrupt you
briefly (we're still

interested in who's to
blame!). I think what you just
said sounds a little too
pessimistic regarding TMs
and the current use of
adaptive MT. On the latter, I
agree with you that much
more needs to be done, but
between SDL's adaptive MT,
Lilt's MT, and ModernMT's
implementation in a number
of CAT tools, there's some
progress, right? And your
examples on the weaknesses
of TM matches make sense
on a theoretical level, but I'm
not sure how much of that is
practically applicable when
using project-specific TMs.

32

The ATA Chronicle | Januar y/February 2021

I absolutely
agree. There
certainly is progress being
made. However, the idea of
adaptive MT is currently
centered on post-editing. For
example, if the engine
suggests an incorrect term, it
will (hopefully) learn to
avoid that mistake once the
user has corrected it. But why
does the system need to
make a mistake in the first
place? If the user works with
a TB, the MT engine could
(and can7, technically) use
correct terms right away. If
the user works with a
project-specific TM, the MT
engine could (and again,
can8, technically) learn from
the exact and even fuzzy
matches in that TM before it
provides a suggestion for the
first segment. MT systems
shouldn't just adapt only
when the user corrects
mistakes. They should
adapt to project-specific
resources upfront.
So, if you're asking who's
to blame that modern MT
features aren't available to
translators yet, it's clearly
the CAT tool manufacturers.
I don't really see changes
in widespread CAT tools on
the horizon, which really
puzzles me. Then again,
this may be a chicken-andegg problem: are these
features unavailable because
translators aren't asking for
them, or are they not asking
for them because they've
never seen them implemented
in a tool? Personally, I could

Samuel

well imagine that translators
would embrace changes like
neural fuzzy repair and NMT
output toggles for things
like honorifics to express
politeness or other linguistic
aspects as long as they're easy

to use and well visualized.
But with fundamental design
choices dating back to the
1990s, widely used CAT
tools aren't exactly a prime
example of effective, usercentered data visualization.

Jost

That sounds like
a perfect segue

into what Nico is doing
with his concept of the
Multi-Modal Post-Editing
of Machine Translation.
Nico, I got really excited
about your post on Kirti
Vashee's blog9 and the links
to articles and videos you
provided at the end of the
post. A number of years ago, I
wrote an article about a tactile
approach to translation10,
and while I certainly didn't
have all the tools in mind
that you've made available,
this was very similar to what
I was thinking. The MMPE
project includes computer
interaction via the keyboard/
mouse, touch, voice, and
handwriting-what a great
idea! A few questions come
to mind. Is it correct to say
that this seems to be quite
language-specific since
voice and handwriting only
work for a select number
of languages? And, will
your prototype make it
into existing translation
environments? Or, to
rephrase the last question,
what would have to be done
for that to happen?

Nico

Indeed, postediting requires

very different interactions
than traditional translation.
We've seen a change from
" production, " where all text
has to be entered manually,
to " supervision, " where the
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