Thursday, 24 June 2010

So we can all go home now?

At the Trieste Conference on New Pathways last week, I squeezed too many slides into a ppt again, but at the end of the paper, a leading academic who shall not be named here now, got up and commented "So we can all go home now?"

Admittedly, the way translation technology is going these days is not an easy one and requires continuous updating. Already groups on next generation localisation are formed and so on.

I would like to paraphrase a current MSc student of ours who mentioned that the last thing she was expecting to hear was that machine translation might very well be part of a future translator's life and that this future is pretty much around the corner.

I hope the people at my presentation in Trieste also got the idea that the main purpose of my paper was to express both interest in future developments and personal concern.

Facebook Translations nearly patented their concept, which is good because the consequences would be difficult to gauge otherwise. However, in that respect do have a look at how the Geni genealogy portal in the US is trying to implement something similar (and has its website translated in 7 languages in 2 weeks by sheer crowdsourcing only).

And yes, I would love to spend the rest of my days writing poems and translating fiction, but the control freak in me also wants to keep an eye on these technological developments.


1 comment:

  1. When I predicted these developments at an ITI Conference in the early '90s, some people thought I was nuts, others just found me provocative. (MT+TM|TM+MT) is something every new translator will have to take on board, or quickly find a very tiny niche and/or language where he/she is the world's expert.