I really liked this term I saw at TAUS, the Translation Automation User Society http://www.translationautomation.com/index.php. Putting the emphasis on the word “useful” is what discussions on machine translation (MT) has needed.
OK, we all know examples of MT shortcomings. My very old favourite is the MT system which translated the biblical sentence “The flesh is weak but the spirit lasts” into Russian as “The steak is rotten but the vodka is good” on the days before Glasnost. Machine translation is not perfect – but it can be very, very useful. Allowing me to understand what a Chinese web site is about without knowing a single character of Chinese is very useful indeed, especially when I am doing market research on China.
The fact is, there is not enough time – and definitely not enough money – to do human translation on even a fraction of the information that is being produced. So, if MT helps people to become aware of your message, it certainly should be considered as a tool, even if the result is not perfect. Useful is often enough.
Besides, there are quite a lot of MT systems available, both free and commercial ones, more than many might imagine. Several of them already do a good job on a specific topic, and can be improved further with special terminology. The Translation Guide at lists over 520 links to MT systems in 56 languages – sadly, the page has last been updated in 2003. Wikipedia offers a shorter, but more current list at . And for one great resource on MT issues, see Jeff Allen’s site at .
Exalead announced the general availability of the newest version of its enterprise search software, exalead one:enterprise, designed to provide users with a unified access point to content and data, both structured and unstructured, regardless of format or location. exalead one:enterprise 4.5 offers a new, simpler user interface with greater search refinement options, improved performance for both 64-bit and 32-bit system environments, expanded language and file format support as well as new management tools for administrators. With this release of exalead one:enterprise, customers will have the opportunity to select from three user interfaces to meet the needs of employees. These include: The UI available in exalead one:enterprise 4.0; The new, streamlined UI found on Exalead‘s Web search engine for business-related searches inside the firewall and; A white label version for organizations hoping to customize the look and feel from top to bottom. exalead one:enterprise automatically returns a list of related terms and categories for each search query that are extracted from the indexed data. This allows users to broaden or narrow a search, for example, by a document’s author, location or format. For a more personalized experience, users can choose to expand or condense the list of options for refining a search, or how the results are pre-viewed and displayed. exalead one:enterprise 4.5 offers expanded language support for Dutch. The company’s proprietary, native support covers more than 54 languages, such as Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Hebrew, Japanese and other major Asian languages. exalead one:enterprise now supports more than 320 file formats, including native support for Microsoft Office 2007. In addition to indexing these file formats. The new version of exalead one:enterprise also offers an updated connector for Microsoft Exchange. There are also new exalead one:search APIs available so that administrators can add custom capabilities using XSL (eXtensible Style Language). New reporting tools are also available to allow system administrators to learn about users’ search patterns to optimize performance and relevancy of results. A default set of reports and charts are available and administrators can also use the reporting tools to define the reports or charts they need. http://corporate.exalead.com/
W3C and OASIS have published WebCGM 2.0, a new industry standard for technical illustrations in electronic documents. WebCGM, which is widely deployed in the defense, aviation, architecture, and transportation industries, has reached new levels of interoperability thanks to this joint effort between OASIS and W3C. Computer Graphics Metafile, or CGM, is an ISO standard for a tree-structured, binary graphics format that has been adopted especially by the technical industries (defense, aviation, transportation, etc) for technical illustration in electronic documents. As the Web emerged as the environment for sharing and creating documents, it became apparent that the best way to use CGM on the Web needed to be clarified, particularly for interactivity such as hyperlinks and hotspots. WebCGM 2.0 adds a DOM (API) specification for programmatic access to WebCGM objects, and a specification of an XML Companion File (XCF) architecture, for externalization of non-graphical metadata. WebCGM 2.0 also builds upon and extends the graphical and intelligent content of WebCGM 1.0. The design criteria for WebCGM aim at a balance between graphical expressive power on the one hand, and simplicity and implementability on the other. A small but powerful set of standardized metadata elements supports the functionalities of hyperlinking and document navigation, picture structuring and layering, and enabling search and query of WebCGM picture content. http://www.oasis-open.org, http://www.w3.org/
February 1, 2007, 1:00 pm ET
Take Your Customer Experience to the Next Level, Part 2: Small Changes for Big Impact
Sponsored by FatWire
Topics to be covered include highlights of a web-based survey on current state of practice, the growing importance of relevancy as a business asset, obstacles to building expertise in relevancy, and recommendations for moving toward better online experiences today.
Speakers are Jeff Ernst, VP Marketing, FatWire, and Pradeep Aradyha, VP/Architect, Digitas, a leader in designing, building, and running large-scale marketing engines for worldwide businesses. I do the honors as moderator.
Register for the webinar.
Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) – Google announced that the Google Mini now offers sophisticated search features for finding and sharing information within small businesses and departmental groups, including document and user-level security, as well as access to any business content through Google Onebox for Enterprise. Google’s access control capabilities integrate with existing security systems, helping to ensure that employees can access only information they are authorized to view. With Google OneBox for Enterprise, employees can search across a greater variety of corporate information stored in such business systems as Business Objects, Cognos, Cisco, Employease, Microsoft Exchange, Netsuite, Oracle, Salesforce.com, SAP, SAS, and others. Organizations can also create OneBox modules to access applications built in-house. Site administrators can now link the Google Mini search results page with Google Analytics to provide more detailed information about how people use search on their site. The new Google Mini also automatically generates sitemaps – allowing webmasters to expose more public content for crawling and indexing by Google.com. The Google Mini is offered in versions that search from 50,000 up to 300,000 documents, includes a year of support and is available for purchase online. http://mini.google.com