Top Requests for Machine Translation ‘A La Carte’

What’s the top trend in machine translation this year? For LexWorks, the answer, hands down, is diversity. Diversity of engines, diversity of services. In years past, our major request was for machine translation as a turnkey solution. That is, providing the gains of machine translation (turnaround speed, quality and, of course, price) but without the need for our customers to be hands-on with the tools. Translated and post-edited documents were the deliverables, and machine translation merely the enabling technology.

#1 Request: Building Engines

The most unexpected trend this year is that enterprises with a great deal of their own MT expertise, and who are themselves pioneers in machine translation implementations, have been asking us to build their next engines. The reasons for this are as varied as the enterprises themselves:

  • Adding new languages where they don’t have internal resources.
  • Releasing the internal resources who, up until now, have been dedicated to training and maintaining the engines.
  • Building a set of engines and providing the training so that a company with no prior MT experience can manage MT themselves.
  • Establishing a set of engines where they don’t have expertise: for example, a company well versed in Moses that would like to add some Hybrid technology.

#2 Benchmarking Existing Approaches Against Other Engines

Asking us to pilot engines is nothing new. We’ve been doing that for years. But what is new this year is asking us to pilot a second approach for new content. For example, a customer that has been using the Systran Hybrid for their documentation might ask us to pilot an SMT approach such as Microsoft Translator Hub for their customer support site. What we are seeing in the market is that mature MT customers are becoming technology agnostic.

#3 Managing Engines Remotely

Where using Google Translate could potentially expose confidential information, we are being asked to set up servers robust enough to handle the translation needs for tens of thousands of employees; this involves our staff working remotely to build and maintain engines that are safely behind company firewalls.

Other A La Carte Machine Translation Services

Other standalone services we’re seeing growing requests for include:

  • Data cleaning
  • Creation and maintenance of TMs
  • Creation and maintenance of glossaries
  • Authoring assistance
  • Pre-Editing
  • Post-Editing
  • Quality assessment
  • Engine updates

The Market Matures

It’s interesting to see that as the market matures, the range of MT services has gone from an all-in-one service, to mix and match packages of services à la carte.

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