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User Involvement Event

TransTech17 – 3rd Translation Technologies Summer School


The beginning of September saw the 3rd edition of the Translation Technologies Summer School, jointly organised by the Department of Translation at the Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, and the Slovenian Language Technologies Society. TransTech takes place every two years at different locations and targets advanced students of Translation, Localisation, Interpreting, Intercultural Communication and related disciplines, while also welcoming translators and other language professionals. This year sessions took place from 4th to 8th September at the Faculty of Arts, Ljubljana, Slovenia. Its focus was on recent advances in Machine Translation and current trends in using MT in professional translation settings. During hands-on sessions, participants had the opportunity to train their own customised MT engines and evaluate and post-edit MT outputs.

Lectures were held by Oliver Czulo (University of Leipzig), Darja Fišer (University of Ljubljana), Nancy Matis (Nancy Matis SPRL), Bartolomé Mesa Lao (Copenhagen Business School), Špela Vintar (University of Ljubljana) and Martin Volk (University of Zurich). Monday’s opening session was dedicated to an introduction to Statistical and Neural Machine Translation, which was presented by Martin Volk. After a group lunch, an introduction to PEMT followed, courtesy of Bartolomé Mesa Lao, with a particularly interesting point of his lectures being the topic of PEMT-integrated adaptive MT. On Tuesday morning, Darja Fišer held a presentation on the CLARIN infrastructure for researchers and students of translation, then it was time for the participants to get to work in earnest. Under Martin’s supervision, we set on the task of training our own custom MT engines using Tilde MT. This platform offers a relatively simple interface and a range of open access corpora for users to set up, train and tweak their own MT engines on. In the afternoon, Oliver Czulo presented the topic of Quality Assurance in PEMT, and in the evening, some of us got together in the city’s old centre for a bit of quality time and local beer sampling.

On Wednesday morning, Nancy Matis held an online lecture on how to manage translation projects involving MT. Later in the day, we continued with our MT engine training and also started Bartolomé’s hands-on sessions on PEMT. Barto is a passionate lecturer and his love for the subject was contagious even for those among us who were not convinced that post-editing is something to look forward to in the future of translation profession. Our last presenter and main driving force behind TransTech, Špela Vintar, held a short lecture on human and automatic MT evaluation, which she followed with a hands-on session where we had the opportunity to evaluate MT outputs ourselves.

With so much going on, the week was quickly coming to an end. Friday was a mixture of participants presenting the results of their work on Tilde MT and lecturers presenting their thoughts on the future of MT, PEMT, translation, LSP landscape, and the impact of all these fields on the society as a whole. The summer school ended with a lecture by Martin that resonated the most on how MT will influence language learning, language evolution and even the globalisation processes in general.

Below you can find some photos taken during our sessions. It was a great learning experience for all of us and we would like to thank CLARIN ERIC for making the summer school possible. We also thank all our participants and lecturers. Hope to see you at the next TransTech in 2019!


Written by Jure Škerl