SmartReads 6-2018: Post-Summer Issue

#SmartReads 6-2018 on the Translation Industry

Let’s start by wishing Happy Birthday to Katherine Johnson (in the picture above) on her 100th birthday. She is the “human computer” who helped NASA put astronauts into orbit around Earth. Have you seen the movie Hidden Figures?

New Articles 

I published two new articles on the WordBee blog:

– Terminology: Necessary Evil or Bare Necessity?  Terminologists have an arduous task. They need to translate terminology into money. How? By presenting convincing examples of terminological mistakes and their consequences in a corporate setting.

– Post-editing 101: Three Approaches – Post-editing of Machine Translation (PEMT) wasn’t born yesterday. It’s as old as machine translation itself. And although at the moment, we have a large amount of material at our disposal about this topic, the nuances of the discussion are such that in some cases we risk losing sight of what PEMT really is.

And here are your monthly #SmartReads.

Tech Bits

Intento has updated its evaluation of machine translation enginesThis presentation from last July shows 19 major machine translation engines for 48 language pairs. Intento’s evaluation considers four factors: pricing, performance, quality, and language coverage.

At the end of July, Google decided to heat up the competition in the MT sector by introducing AutoML Translation. It allows users to create custom translation models so that translation queries return results specific to the user’s relevant domain. You will need specific tech knowledge, though, as well as unspoiled data. On this point, you might also want to read If your data is bad, your machine learning tools are useless.

Google Translate was the hero of the World Cup. And because of its popularity (some 143 billion words are translated every day with GT), Google might start introducing ads in its translation appJust so you know what you might have to sit through before you can find out what’s on the menu in front of you.

On other note, some translation industry personalities advocate cryptocurrencies for the translation industry. On this topic, you might also want to rediscover Blockchain as translation’s new foundational technologyBut please, make sure you read the warning at the end of the article.

Writers have always loved mobile devices – We all write: on laptops, tablets, and phones. We write—or type—while walking, waiting for a doctor appointment, commuting to work, eating dinner. The digital tools at our disposal are just the latest take on a long tradition of writing tools.

Language Bits

How linguistic urban legends go viral online – An article about etymythology, a term coined by the Yale linguist Laurence Horn for the general phenomenon of using fabricated etymologies to tell attractive origin stories.

The Web alienates non-English speakers – If your email address ends in .com, .org, .edu or .net, you can easily buy anything you want online. But if your email address ends in .世界 or @डाटामेल.भारत or .photography, you might get an error message and be unable to complete your transaction. In this case, you have fallen victim to a lack of Universal Acceptance (UA).

Behemoth, bully, thief: how the English language is taking over the planet – In the last few years, there have been few books by Italian authors complaining about the use of English words in Italian. One example for all, the book Diciamolo in italiano (complete with blog). Also, researchers at the IULM University in Milan have noticed that, in the past 50 years, Italian syntax has shifted towards patterns that mimic English models. So, the question on everyone’s mind is: Should we resist the domination of the English language? Or should we go with the flow?

And what happens when we forget our mother tongue? The Turkish writer Yaldaz Sadakova, who manages the website Foreignish, wrote about it. For more writers who choose to tell their stories in a foreign language, you might want to read Using the foreign to grasp the familiar or So to speak, a piece by the Moroccan writer Laila Lalami about choosing to write in English to cast off her colonial baggage.

Finally, a touching article on Oliver Sacks and his love of words.