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Using Machine Translation with STAR Transit

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Machine Translation and Transit NXT

The latest version of STAR Transit integrates with a number of Machine Translation Systems. Here’s how to make your translation faster.

1. Overview

Machine Translation (MT) systems can be used when working with Transit.

Concerning MT support, Transit strictly distinguishes between the following systems:

  •  Customer-specific MT systems

In Transit, customer-specific, specially trained MT systems are used exclusively for machine translations during the import of project files. Therefore, they are referred to as Import MT.

The project-specific settings for the Import MT are specified by the client or project manager on the Machine translation tab of the Project settings window .

Import MT suggestions are displayed to you as translator in the fuzzy window, together with the fuzzy matches that may exist.

  •  Unspecific online translation services (GoogleTranslate, iTranslate4eu)

Machine translations by online services are supported only via the Transit editor. The translator needs to request them explicitly for individual segments (see section 4. “Manually requesting a machine translation”). Therefore, they are referred to as Editor MT.

The settings for Editor MT are set by the translator using the Machine translation option of the user preferences.

 

2. User preferences for Editor MT

In the user preferences you can specify – independent of a project – if you want to use Editor MT. It allows you to manually or automatically request MT suggestions from online providers via the Transit editor.

How do I configure the user preferences for Editor MT?

1- Select Transit button | User preferences.

Transit displays the User preferences window.

2- Select the Machine translation option.

Transit displays the user preferences for the Machine translation option:

User preferences group, Machine translation screenUser preferences group, Machine translation screen

3- Specify the desired settings:

Allow Editor MT (request MT suggestions via context menu) – Here you can turn the use if Editor MT on or off. It allows you to request MT suggestions using the context menu of the Transit editor.

Ask before data is sent

Here you specify when Transit should ask prompt you to confirm explicitly to send data to the MT system:

Never, Once per project or Every time

In the overview below all MT systems supported for use in the Transit editor are listed.

– The Status column displays whether the respective MT system can be used or not:

OK – The MT system can be used.

not configured – The MT system needs to be configured, i. e. the API key must be entered.

Button 40– Transit displays a window allowing you to enter the API key for using the respective MT system.

– In the Use column, you can turn the use of an MT system on and off.

Transit can only use one MT system at the time.

Automatically request MT suggestions

Here you can turn on and off if Transit should automatically request MT suggestions for segments for which there are only fuzzy matches at a low quality:

Only for segments with fuzzy matches lower than (%) – Here you specify the quality of the fuzzy matches (in percent) below which Transit should automatically request a machine translation for a segment.

Only for segments with at least (words) – Here you specify the quality of the fuzzy matches (in percent) below which Transit should automatically request an MRT suggestions for a segment.

Only for segments with not more than (words) – Here you can specify that the segments should have a specified minimum length (i.e. segments that are too short are not sent).

Ask before data is automatically sent – Here you specify when Transit should ask prompt you to confirm explicitly to send data automatically to the MT system:

Never or Once per project

 

attentionSTAR/Transit has no influence on privacy policies, costs and quality!

For machine translation, if requested by the user/customer, the texts and contents that are to be translated are transferred to the machine translation (MT) system and may be transferred to the provider of the MT system. STAR has no influence on the quality of the machine translation when the data is processed and translated externally in this way. No guarantee shall be provided for the correctness or completeness of such translations.

STAR points out that the Internet is not considered to be a secure environment and data that is transferred online may be accessible by unauthorised third parties. STAR shall accept no liability for the security of any data that is transferred online. STAR shall be excluded from any liability for losses or damage of any kind that result from the transfer of data that is to be translated to the MT system or from the use of the MT system.

Further processing and/or saving the data that is to be translated in the external MT system is not under the control of STAR. From the moment that the data is transferred to the MT system, STAR shall not be responsible for compliance with data protection regulations nor for compliance with confidentiality agreements.

Machine translation may be a paid service that is offered by the machine translation system provider. Costs may be incurred through the use of machine translation. STAR does not have any influence on the amount or billing of these costs.

3. Entering the API key for the MT system

To be able to use an online translation service or MT system from Transit, you need to enter an API key:

Entering the API keyEntering the API key

This API key you obtain from the respective provider.

Via the Check API key when closing the dialog option, you can check immediately if the API key is correct

 

4. Manually requesting a machine translation

What you should know here

Transit displays the translation suggestion of an Editor MT system in the Source Fuzzy window as follows:

Editor MT suggestionEditor MT suggestion

If the segment for which a machine translation has been requested contains markups, the display is extended by a row:

Editor MT suggestion for a segment containing markupsEditor MT suggestion for a segment containing markups

In the additional row, Transit displays if the segment text has been transferred to the MT system with or without markups.

If the respective MT system does not support the processing of markups, Transit automatically transfers the segment text without markups. In this case you will have to insert the markups after accepting the MT suggestion for your translation.

How do I manually request a machine translation?

1 In the target-language window of the Transit editor, right-click on the current segment.

Transit displays the context window of the target-language window.

2 In the context menu, select the Request machine translation entry.

If fuzzy matches exist for the segment, Transit displays the translation suggestion of the MT system at the top of the Source Fuzzy window. This way the MT suggestion can be easily compared with the fuzzy match of the highest quality.

Just like a fuzzy match, you can edit the MT suggestion and accept it for your translation.

 

5. Import MT suggestions in the fuzzy window

Transit displays the translation suggestion of an Import MT system in the Source Fuzzy window as follows:

Import MT suggestionImport MT suggestion

If the segment contains markups, the display is extended by a row:

Import MT suggestion for a segment containing markupsImport MT suggestion for a segment containing markups

In the additional row, Transit displays if the segment text has been transferred to the MT system with or without markups.

If the respective MT system does not support the processing of markups, Transit automatically transfers the segment text without markups. In this case you will have to insert the markups after accepting the MT suggestion for your translation.

Just like a fuzzy match, you can edit the MT suggestion and accept it for your translation.

Medical Miscommunication

Medical Miscommunication in Translation

Medical Miscommunication

From Poor Handwriting to Google Translate, Medical Miscommunication

Doctors’ handwriting had always been considered a menace around medical wards and general practices until recently a new one surfaced: Google Translate.

Anyone who has ever resorted to using Google’s alternative machine translation tool, even for non-medical reasons, knows what confusion it can cause.And yet this hasn’t discouraged medical staff from using GT during treatments. Typically, medics have to make quick decisions about a patient’s condition where no interpreters are present. In rolls Google Translate. It’s quick and easy allowing medical staff to get the gist of what their foreign national patients were saying.

Lost in Translation

A survey was carried out for the purpose of understanding what GT would return after translating 10 common medical phrases. The auto-translated phrases were then back translated by native human speakers of those languages — the results revealed all sorts of horrors. In one particular case, the medical English word “fitting”, a past participle of “to have seizures” was used: a mistranslation by medical staff whereby the English read, “your child is fitting”, in Swahili, it became “your child is dead”.

Another slightly less terrifying one was the Polish translation of a suggestion offered to relatives of a patient who either deceased, or nearly — “your husband has the opportunity to donate his organs”. To Google Translate and this in turn becomes, “your husband can donate his tools”!

Many other phrases churned out almost poetic translations such as one into Marathi (an Indian language) which read, “your husband had a cardiac arrest”. GT came out with, “your husband had an imprisonment of the heart”. In Bengali, the phrase, “your wife needs to be ventilated” resulted in, “your wife wind movement needed”. Imagining doctors and nurses alike repeating these poetic phrases adds a little humour. Perhaps not so much for the patients and their families.

Google Translate cannot recognise the context of the sentence or phrase it is translating, which results in mistranslations. Anybody relying on GT for formal communication may well find themselves in trouble, despite the hilarity of some of its flaws.

Have you ever come across any embarrassing mistranslations? Share your stories with us in the comments below.

The STAR Team

Funny Machine Translation Errors

Funny Machine Translation Errors

One of the things we find amusing is how machine translation can make some really silly mistakes.

A common misunderstanding is that translation is just about words however context is very important in understanding exactly what the words mean.

Machine translation engines provide free translation, but the quality is often very bad. They translate words and phrases but can never perform like a human in understanding the text.  Here are some fun examples we’ve found in our own research.

“A School of Fish was spotted in the sea”

A school of fish was spotted in the sea

The translation above literally means that a school (schools where kids go) full of fish was in the sea. In French the word école means a physical school. They don’t have the term “school of fish” in French. We also translated – Sharks swim in schools and got the same result. Sharks swim in colleges!

The translation is thus taken out of context since the right phrase to translate “a school of fish” would have been “un banc de poisson”. Google and all the other machine translation engines we tested made the same mistake.

French Machine Translation Errors

Poor French translation example from Google Translate

A interesting French idiom is Se faire la belle”, which means to run away and not to make beautiful!

Another similar idiom would be to to take french leave, which describes when a guest leaves a party without informing their hosts.

Google translates this as Pour prendre un congé françaises” which means to take French holidays and we won’t say anything else about the grammar mistake. However, the correct translation is Filer à l’anglaise.

An example of a bad translation from a status update on Facebook by the Bing Translator

Amanda at Spiderworking spotted this one for us using Facebook’s translation with Bing. The Japanese user was discussing Scotland but we’ve no idea what the translation is meant to say correctly.

Do you have any funny examples of mistranslation? We would love to see them. Share them with us on Facebook or Twitter.

The STAR Team

Why Machine Translation is Dangerous

machine translation is dangerousOoops! Machine Translation is dangerous!

We read with amusement this morning an article in the The Irish Examiner. The paper  reports that a mistake has been made by Cork’s local authority translating the name of the world famous  “English Market” into Irish.

The translated sign read “Béarla sa Mhargadh”, which literally means – English in the Market!

We suspect they probably used one of the popular machine translation engines to do the translation.

A quick look at the “English Market” website or a quick call to the team at Star Translation Service would have saved some red faces.
A more appropriate translation would have been : “An Margadh Sasanach”.

Sometimes it is very easy for people with short translations to quickly jump to the internet for a free and quick translation.  Machine translation engines really are only gisting engines, to get the idea of roughly what something says. One of the key factors to quality translation is understanding the context of a word or phrase for translation. You always need to have some further information to fully understand the message. As an example the word “Armed”. Does this refer to a person with a weapon or a burglar alarm that is on – ‘armed’. The translation is very different depending on what you mean.

STAR provide professional translation services to clients in over 40 languages. We help our clients communicate effectively and accurately. We translate documents, websites and signs!.