The ATA Chronicle - January/February 2021 - 33

RR
task changes to capturing and
correcting mistakes, as well
as manipulating and
recombining useful
suggestions. Naturally, this
change already started with
TMs, but the better MT gets,
the more we move away from
the production paradigm to
supervision and collaboration
with the machine. For
example, we don't question
that a mouse and keyboard
are very good tools for
production. However, we
believe that other modalities
could be very helpful for the
changed interaction pattern
in post-editing-not as a
substitution for mouse and
keyboard, but as a
complement. This is what
we've been exploring in the
MMPE project. For example,
we found that a digital pen
and finger touch input are
very well suited for deletion
and reordering operations.
Regarding your question
on language support, I would
say that the transcription of
handwritten text or speech
input works well with many
languages. You just need to
exchange the underlying
machine learning model with
one that was trained on data
in the target language. One
would, of course, need to also
define the speech commands
in other languages, but
we tried to keep our code
rather flexible by having
the commands in separate
files outside the source code.
Further studies would be
needed to say for sure how
well it works with other
languages and to explore
changed interface layouts
for, say, right-to-left or
logographic languages.
What will need to be done
to integrate such modalities
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into existing CAT tools?
That's a good question. It
depends a lot on the input
modality. Most computers
have an integrated
microphone, and now with
the pandemic, many people
probably also own a headset.

" In general, I believe that with higher quality
machine translation output, post-editing on
tablets might become doable, especially with
good handwriting, touch, and speech support. "

So, for speech input, the CAT

Nico Herbig

developers can basically start
integrating dictation and
also speech commands. For
example, memoQ is already
offering an iOS app that
transcribes your speech input
and sends it to their CAT tool.
Pen and finger touch input
could also be integrated rather
soon. Many laptops now have
touch screens, and tablets
are becoming increasingly
common. In general, I believe
that with higher quality
MT output, post-editing
on tablets might become
doable, especially with good
handwriting, touch, and
speech support. But I assume
the market is currently too
small for CAT companies to
invest in this. Other modalities
we're currently exploring,
such as eye-based interaction
(e.g., you look at a word and
say " delete " ) or mid-air
gestures (e.g., point at a word
and do a hand gesture to
delete), are interesting from
the research perspective, but
no one has these tracking
devices in a standard office.
So, I believe it will take a long
time until we see something
like this in commercial CAT
tools, if at all.

environments via an
application programming
interface or some other
mechanism. Otherwise, I
think that translators would
have to wait an awfully long
time for existing tools to
implement it. Also, I'm not
sure I completely agree that
the interface you're
proposing isn't necessarily
suited for TM-based work.

Nico

Integrating aspects
of the MMPE

project into existing CAT tools
is probably not that easy,
which is why we also chose to
start from scratch. As Samuel
already said, many CAT tools
still follow outdated design
patterns, making them look
more like spreadsheets and
not like modern websites and
applications. For example,
consider handwriting. We rely
heavily on the MyScript
application programming

Jost

That makes sense,
but what I had in

interface here, which is
working great and could also

mind was whether it would

be integrated into existing

somehow be possible to use

CAT tools. But if you try to

MMPE or aspects of it and

handwrite into the small

essentially connect it to

space that most translation

existing translation

environments provide for
American Translators Association

33


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The ATA Chronicle - January/February 2021

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