Equilibrium between Humans and Automation

It’s all about Trust.

There’s an enthralling analogy between aircraft operation and language services. To conclude both have adequate technology but still need human involvement. Like an aircraft cannot be completely flown without a human pilot; similarly it would be unwise to depend on entirely automated technology. Hence, I conclude a complete shift to machine translation will not happen in the language industry.

Ever wonder why the doors to the pilot cockpit on commercial airline flights are left open during passenger boarding? It appears that out that the passengers have a charming and very human need to peer into the cockpit and see the pilots sitting there. The airlines know this, so they leave the doors open for the passengers during boarding so we can all scratch this persistent little itch of need and reassurance.

It’s also why the pilots talk to us over the intercom during the flight.

So why all this soft-touch hand-holding of passengers? The pilots are actually flying the plane for one reason only: Trust. The plane can fly perfectly well without them and in fact mostly does. If you think translators feel threatened by the encroaching wave of next-generation machine translation software, consider the case of poor commercial airline pilots.

img

Computer automation today – the current state of technology – can fly commercial aircraft more safely, reliably and flawlessly; respond more nimbly and quickly to changes, and navigate seamlessly through more potential horrific disasters better than any human pilot can.

That’s a potential financial blockbuster for an eternally struggling airline industry. So why hasn’t that happened yet?

The passengers. They would stay away in droves.

Even a hopelessly romantic technophile like me would think twice about flying across the country on an aircraft flown entirely by computer. Although the airlines would sell a LOT of alcohol on those flights.

Cost of Failure

The calculus is different for a passenger because the cost of failure dramatically outweighs every other consideration. The global civil aviation infrastructure has been built up over the last 50 years to maximize safety. It’s this investment in a massive safety culture that allowed commercial air travel to become a commodity. In practical terms, modern civil aviation beat the cost of failure right out of the equation.

Airlines still struggle to differentiate on quality, but they operate in a hyper-competitive, price-driven, razor-thin-profit commodity market because commercial air travel has been engineered to be safer than any other activity in human life.

Good for us passengers. Very bad for the airlines’ bottom line.

Risk and Trust in the Language Services Market

So now we come to the language services market, where the cost of failure is very much alive. In this context, translation customers large and small find themselves faced with the following scenario:

  • They have a real (often vital) need for language services
  • They can’t judge or assess product quality themselves
  • They have a desire (like we all do) not to look foolish or embarrass their company
  • They would like to keep their jobs
  • Their business must succeed in a highly competitive environment

There are risks everywhere in that description – which is ultimately about human emotions in response to doubt, uncertainty, and vulnerability.

What’s most interesting about these requirements is that they mostly lie outside the clients’ own direct control. So their objective in seeking out language services suppliers is to mitigate all these risks. That means that their decision-making process extends to areas far beyond the scope of the physical translation alone.

The persistent laser focus on “quality” and post-editing of machine translation to the exclusion of what language services clients actually need, want and buy every day undermines the financial viability of that approach.

So in addition to translation “quality,” clients value a whole host of soft-touch capabilities whose purpose is to engender trust and confidence and protect them from disaster, just like the (live human expert) airline pilots do.

Here are some examples of how companies that purchase translation services seek to mitigate those risks:

  • They dilute their risk by selecting multiple suppliers
  • They choose suppliers with diverse linguistic and technical capabilities
  • They utilize client review teams
  • They request translation certification
  • They require guarantees, warranties or the right to require revisions

In addition to alleviating obvious risks, language service providers also add value in many other important and essential ways because we see things our clients are unlikely to see. That’s because our clients typically are not language people, do not inhabit the target culture, are not experts in foreign character set encoding, do not give much thought to different time and date formats around the world, etc.

What if Machine Translation becomes perfect?

A reasonable objection to this whole argument is that improving machine translation to the point where it’s indistinguishable from human translation services does in fact address the trust issue and resolves it.

In my view that objection fails because the uncertainty never goes away. Machine translation engines deal in the currency of disambiguation and semantic mapping but never eliminate ambiguity or doubt or even claim to. So error and doubt are actually assumed to perpetually exist in the solution.

Image

Even if this weren’t true, translation users for decades have sought – and largely succeeded – in offloading every possible conceivable risk and remedy onto the translation service providers themselves. Our customers are airline passengers and they expect us – the pilots – to make sure they get home safely. If we use automation in our work, it better not harm them or their business.

a.      Reduced expectations and market realities

This stand-off of sorts has led to many unusually tense – and sometimes baffling – discussions between translation users who are increasingly demanding speed, savings and scalability via machine translation and hybrid MT/TM technology, while language service companies – fully aware of the downside risks that will come back to haunt them – are urging these same clients to abandon client review, adopt “reasonable” (dramatically reduced) expectations, and introduce end-user usability testing that measures outcomes rather than translation accuracy.

b.     The fruits of long endeavors

These attempts to find common ground will continue in the near-term, but the two sides would be far better served if they focused on the herd of elephants milling around the room with “risk,” “trust,” and “liability” signs hanging around their necks.

In the coming decades stand-alone machine translation and other high-speed language automation technologies are going to branch off and serve different markets than will human translation, with its focus on absolute precision, insight, creativity and impact. This is especially true of the boutique end of the market where even today there are not enough skilled human translators to meet demand.

We are already seeing new emerging markets where translation needs are beginning to explode, exact precision is less urgent and speed is paramount – online help desk forums, chat rooms, and quick feedback surveys are some examples, with the Twitter universe standing next in line.

And of course translators – the ultimate technology early adapters – will continue to be among the most ardent users of appropriate language technology in their day-to-day work lives.

Happily this means that the global language services market will diversify and expand in all dimensions to accommodate these new realities. It’s helpful if we all recognize that technology rarely destroys; it more commonly amplifies, or explodes in a galaxy of new choices. Machine translation itself is just a new river in a vast ecosystem.

Advertisements

HUMAN TRANSLATION IS HERE TO STAY

                                Will Machine Translation Ever Beat Human Translation?

 

It is so temptation when we think of a world where communicating with others in different languages is effortlessly easy, all hail to machine translation. Will the rise in machine translation mean that people won’t have to learn languages anymore?

It is evident that evolution of machine translation is spreading fast, but the fact of the matter is that we haven’t yet reached the ideal vision. Will it ever happen?

Machine translation dates back since around 1950s, where researchers began the simple use of software to translate text or speech into different languages. The first commercial machine translation system appeared in 1991, with the first web applications following along a few years later.

Image

 

In the tech-age today, machine translation technology varies from extensively used, free online translation services such as Google Translate, to cheap, on-the-go mobile phone apps such as Apple’s iTranslate, to rather more expensive, customizable, professional software packages.

The pros of machine translation are clear:

It’s cheap and sometimes even free depending on the kind of service you use.

It’s swift for on-the-spot translation needs, or time-critical web content.

It’s innovating almost every other day as researchers strive to make machine translation technology better.

But we can’t ignore the drawbacks which are as clear as the benefits:

It lacks localization as it produces straightforward translation. There is little or no localization in reproducing the content into a suitable cultural context.

Tone in the content is nearly nonexistent as machine translation focuses to translate more restrained aspects of language such as humor and metaphor.

Machine translation often reads very awkwardly breaking the momentum of content, which results in poorly structured sentences which are difficult to read.

If you’ve invested a good time to create content; then you definitely need human creative translation to do justice to the original content and make certain that all client objectives are met.

Image

 

Probably the most prominent machine translation failure incident is about the Chinese café which wanted to provide a sign in both English and Chinese. The Chinese sign (in Chinese characters) said ‘Dining Hall’, while the shiny new English sign said ‘Translate Server Error.’

The incident attracted global publicity but it did not prove harmful for the café. Although in the serious world of business machine translation such errors can cause some significant complications. Sometimes the organization can end up facing legal action.

Therefore we conclude, that human translation is here to stay. There is unquestionably a place for machine translation, especially in those circumstances where urgency is more important than precision, but in a professional perspective nothing will ever beat the impact of creative, precise, localized, human translation.

The Cultural Influences of India, China, Arabia, and Japan

The impact of Hindu culture deeply inspired Philippine lifestyle.
The sarong ( skirt ) and the putong ( turban ) donned by the early Filipinos ( Pinoy ) and the embroidered shawls continue to donned by today’s Muslim Filipino women are a Indian impact . It has been estimated that nearly 30 percent of the Tagalog words and phrases are derived from Sanskrit, India’s ancient language which significantly indluenced the current European languages similar to English and German. Just a few Sanskrit words in Tagalog are Bathala ( the supreme God ), dala ( fishnet ) , asawa ( spouse ), mama ( man ), diwa ( thought ), puri ( honor ), mata ( eye ), likha ( creation ), lakambini ( princess ), kuta ( fortress ), and wika ( language ). The use of brass, bronze, copper and tin in the decorative arts and metalwork of the earlier Filipinos is also a Indian influence. The boat-shaped lute, a musical instrument even now played by Muslim Pinoys, is of Indian origin.

Early Filipino folklore and literature also present intensive Indian influences. The Maranaw epic Darangan is Indian in both of plot and characters. Balituk, the story of the Ifugao legendary hero, is just like Arjuna’s exploits in the Mahabharata, the terrific Hindu epic. The Agusan legend of a man known as Agnio, resembles the tale of Ahalya in the Ramayana, another great Hindu epic. An eclipse is called laho in Tagalog and Kapampangan. The Philippine people faith is to the impact that an eclipse occurs when the sky dragon swallows and bites the moon or the sun. Old folks tell that the eclipsed moon is red because the sky dragon laho has bitten it, making it bleed, and the folk stampede in into releasing the moon by beating on cans and drums. The marks one finds out on the face of the newly risen moon are said to have been made by the teeth of the dragon that bites it every time it can, and the Hindu god that causes eclipses by biting the moon or the sun is Rahu.

From the Chinese, the early Filipinos learned how to use porcelain ware, umbrellas, production of gunpowder, and specific mining techniques. The loose style in the early Filipino style of dressin, the sleeved jackets and loose trouser of the Muslim Filipino women and the use of slippers show Chinese influence also. As well of Chinese origin was the wearing of yellow dress by the nobles and of blue clothes by the commoners in pre-Spanish Philippine society. The wearing of white dresses and the use of a white background in mourning and burial ceremonies is another Chinese impact.

Several Chinese words exist in the Tagalog language. Among these include sangko ( elder brother ) , pansit ( noodles ) , tinghoy ( oil lamp ) , hibi ( dried shrimp ) , petsay ( Chinese cabbage ) , dikyam ( dried fruit ) , ampaw ( cereal ) , and susi ( key ) . The surnames of a great many Filipino families are of Chinese origin, such as Cojuangco, Lim, Tan, Limjoco, Tongko, Juico and Ongsiako.
Equally important was the adoption by the early Filipinos of certain Chinese traditions. Among those are the arrangement of marriages by the parents of the prospective groom and bride, the practice of employing a go-between in proposing a marriage, and the deep respect accorded by the children to their parents and other elders.

The Japanese developed some important contributions to Philippine life too. They introduced the early Filipinos certain businesses such as the manufacture of arms and equipment’s, the tanning of deerskin, and the unnatural breeding of ducks and fish.
The most significant gift of the Arabs to the life of Muslim Filipinos was Islam, still a living religion in Mindanao and Sulu. The calendar, law, form of government, art, and literature of the Muslim Filipinos are of Arabic origin. The sarimanok design and style in Maranaw decorative art has an Arabic origin. Many tales in Maranaw and Tausug literature are derived from Arabian tales. Finally , there are some Arabic words found in the Tagalog language, such as alam ( know ), sulat ( letter ), salamat ( thanks ), hukom ( judges ), and piklat ( scar ).

Companies who seek to expand their services to a Japanese-speaking market mostly seek English to Japanese translation services. And why shouldn’t they? Japan is without a doubt at the forefront of global trade and offers the perfect economic environment for every business that wants to make it big. But language is a major factor, even when you are dealing with Japanese companies in your home country.

Related:

Interesting Facts about the Korean Language

Importance of Arabic Language in Today’s Global Business Market

Difference between English and Russian Language

 

SAN ZI JING – THE THREE-CHARACTERS CLASSIC

Introduction:

The San Zi Jing (Three Character Classic), written in the 13th century and attributed to Wang Yinglin (1223-1296), is not one of the traditional six Confucian classics, but rather is a distillation of the essentials of Confucian thought expressed in a way suitable for teaching young children. Until the latter part of this century, it served as a child’s first bit of formal education at home. It is written in couplets of three characters (syllables) for easy memorization. One might call it a Confucian catechism.

George Yeo, then Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry, in an address at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, described the work thus: “For centuries, Chinese children, before they could read or write, were taught to recite the San Zi Jing through which the Confucianist idea of society being one big happy family is programmed into young minds. The three-character phrases are like strands of cultural DNA which are passed on from generation to generation.” (Cf. Sanzijing at raptor.depauw.edu)

Sources:

Notes & illustration:

2004-07-20: Note from Name/pseudo (Commenter on Sanzijing 0.)
The San Zi Jing as appeared in the link you provided
http://www.pep.com.cn/200306/ca224428.htm
is actually a copy from
http://www.openface.ca/~dstephen/trimetric.htm

The person who put up the trimetric.htm page copied the text from Giles book by hand back in the late 1960s. He made several mistakes in his transcription, which he could not decipher when he put his Web page a few years ago. The “side-notes” of the undecipherable text showed up as “distinct markers” whenever someone else reprints
the material from his site.
So far, all the reprints of the Giles version on the Web has been traced back to the same source.

The Three-Characters Classic --- San Zi Jing

Do we need to localize keyboard shortcuts?

When I’m talking regarding keyboard shortcuts to things like Ctrl-S or maybe one key shortcuts like ‘A’ (used to Archive an email on Gmail). On the opposite aspect the method, called hotkeys or the underlined letters in menus or different GUI controls are clearly one thing that ought to be localized and that I not going to argue regarding this.

I have did some analysis to check however, some different firms are handling the shortcuts once people are using different languages and different keyboard layouts. Here are a brief list of my results:

  • If doable, the shortcut isn’t modified
  • If a key not available on a particular layout we must always attempt to use constant physical position
  • There needs to be no link between practical application language and keyboard patterns. It’s a mistake to consider that application language might match the keyboard format. I’ll reveal just a good example: in Romania over 95% of the computer systems are using US keyboard layout and the other 5% are using among the 4-5 various Romanian keyboard layouts.
  • Some individuals are using several keyboard layouts – generally, they are in fact power users and we can’t ignore them
  • Keyboard patterns can be converted anytime
  • Characters are secure to be used only when they are Latin

Physical position rules

I think that the actual physical position of the key is a lot more important than the letter written on it. Below are my arguments:

  • Human brain is understanding the shortcuts by hand movements (notice Pavlov’s dog experiment)
  • It is appropriate for the usage of multiple keyboard models

However, it’s not always so easy: we can’t assume that the French users would switch the usage of Ctrl-Q with Ctrl-A (Quit vs Select All) simply because they are using different layouts. Therefore, a fundamental rule would be to stick with the format for letters and numbers. However, attempt to use the actual physical position for other keys.

Anyways high, likely those individuals using multiple layouts would select alike layouts (derived from the similar root).

One-to-one key matching

Since the number of keys is similar we need to find a way of remapping the keys so that all shortcuts working on US to be workable on different layouts. When I’m talking about keys, I’m referring to the hardware keys.

Do we need to localize keyboard shortcuts?

Question: How do I create OS X tell me that the key pressed by the user was ‘q’ while current format is Arabic?

Rules:

  • We are not allowed to consider it’s a ‘q’ because the key code is similar, probably it’s a Arabic DVORAK keyboard!
  • The shortcuts should not be hardcoded (user can edit them)

On Windows it does work 98% using virtual key codes and you can use them to obtain this info, but on OS X the key codes (actually Apple call them sometimes virtual key codes) they are some kind of scan codes. For the rest of 2% you need to do some small hacks with the OEMs.

Do we need to localize keyboard shortcuts?

 

15 Tips to Translate your Website

While making a website for a new language market, getting all the required videos, flash and programming is no small deal. However, right executions, approach and planning are a must if you wish to take your website across shores, ideally aiming to attract audience from different languages.

15 Tips to Translate your Website

To make sure that you do the job of translation rightly for the website localization, here are the top 15 tips you need to follow in translating the website:

1.     Align your Business Strategy and Website

Ponder on the infrastructure of your business to make sure that it supports all multilingual objectives. Make sure you include items like:15 Tips to Translate your Website

  • Sales fulfillment systems
  • Payment processing
  • Local customer support
  • Local marketing
  • Local legal requirements

2.     Strategize the Navigation of Multilingual

To help people find your site globally, you need elements like:15 Tips to Translate your Website

  • Clear user navigation
  • User settings
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Geo-tagging

3.     Use Content Management System

As you add languages, managing content becomes complex. You need a global ready CMS to manage the website.

4.     Use CMS for the Following Features

  • Supporting targeted languages15 Tips to Translate your Website
  • Workflow and filtering of new content
  • Re-import and export content in a local friendly format, for example. XML

5.     Use the General Standards

Use coding standards like HTML in getting the most of local benefits.

6.     Text Contraction and Expansion

The code and design of your website should15 Tips to Translate your Website make sure that it supports different texts lengths.

7.     Graphics and Flash should Be Ready

Flash and graphics play key role website. Wrong features of graphics and flash would slow down your website as well.

8.     Consider local. Regional and Global Site Content

Make sure that you are aware of the content that 15 Tips to Translate your Websiteis used globally and it be easily translated in all countries you are planning to reach.

9.     Plan for Maintenance and Updates

Make sure that you update the languages on daily basis. This would require high automated potential between the provider and the CMS.

10.Build Matching Source Website

If you plan to localize a specific part of the website, it is advisable to build new partial
website before-hand. This will allow you sign-off and review the local content by the local means, along with the partial part of the website would function well.15 Tips to Translate your Website

11.Add Multilingual Search

Make sure that you optimize your search so that the international audience feels no trouble.

12.Additional Business Preparations

Keep in mind that the language different customers are the additional audience, which mean additional clients for you. In case of success, be prepared of expansions.

13.Design the WebPages Properly

When your content is translated to another language, make sure that the design and the space of the content does not unattractively change.15 Tips to Translate your Website

14.Use the General Unicode

Use the type of Unicode for applications that handle the content and encode files that have localizable texts.

15.Always be Ready to Invest More

For getting language translation services on your website may vary from the amount of language you wish to add. Make sure you are always ready for the expenses.15 Tips to Translate your Website

Use these tips to get the translation of website correctly because in this global village, we can’t tolerate any language barrier especially when we enter into the internet world.

english to arabic translation services

Importance of Arabic Language in Today’s Global Business Market

Business, travel or curiosity, there are many reasons which make us learn different languages. Regarding this there has been raising a trend of learning and speaking Arabic around the world. A major part of the planet is Arabic speaking. Arabic is main Language of Gulf and Middle Eastern countries like Turkey, Egypt, United Arab Emirates and many others. People who travel to these countries have to communicate with their citizens in Arabic that is why people are going crazy to learn or at least understand this beautiful language.

English to Arabic Translation Serviceenglish to arabic translation services

Arab countries are an essential Part of World Trade but the officials of these countries only Speak Arabic. Here, English to Arabic translation is the most convenient solution for English speakers to interact with Arabic Speaking People. So, they use Interpreters to Deal with Arabs. Finding a right English to Arabic interpreter person is not a piece of pie and if you find one he leaves you empty pocket at the end.

Moreover, Muslims from different parts of world have to learn Arabic to understand their Holy Book. That is where Arabic- English translator becomes something more than important.

Don’t worry CCJK has got a solution for that. CCJK has launched an online English – Arabic translation service and smart phone application to rescue you from these pocket- straining interpreter people. You can use this service to get an accurate English – Arabic translation anywhere and anytime. CCJK is capable of Carrying out the tasks regarding human translation services in a reliable Way. Any English- Arabic translation, whether it is an important document, reading a sign board or filling a form can be easily understood with CCJK English- Arabic translation service.

Arabic Translation to Other Languages

Arabic to other language

Arabic is also translated to many other languages by CCJK. You can translate anything you want into Arabic or Arabic to other language just in some seconds. CCJK has the facility to Translate Arabic into 54 other Languages. Targeted Languages are translated by native speakers to ensure the customer satisfaction. So, contact us for free and get an easy solution to understand your favorite language.