Conference round: TAUS, LW Silicon Valley, Tekom and JTF

Q4 was very intensive at Pangeanic, attending 4 conferences to promote the benefits of the DIY SMT concept in the US, Europe and Japan.  We will now summarize the best of all these industry gatherings (TAUS and Localization World in Silicon Valley) and the cross-fertilization between them and the increasingly machine-translation-hungry language industry community, Tekom in Germany, and the 1-day event in Tokyo at the Japan Translation Federation.

TAUS – Silicon Valley

TAUS has become the de facto “think tank” and executive gathering for anybody with an interest in MT. Its conferences always provide deep and clear insights on ongoing work, the new and the trends in MT. Over 100 people were present in Silicon Valley, with a good mixture of researchers, vendors, practitioners and users. More than summarizing the event, I would encourage readers to watch the videos and judge for themselves: (click here) and of course to attend the venues.

Pangeanic was one of the founding members and has been a regular attendee and speaker since inception in 2004, so our recommendation to attend any sessions near you is well founded. The keynote was a brilliant address and summarization of the current status of the industry, with some hints from Bill Dolan from Microsoft which I find particularly relevant to future R&D in the field of a multilingual web. Do spend some time checking out the several initiatives which have built what Adobe calls a “harness” and others “a DIY” on Moses. It is rewarding to see so much interest in simplifying the complications of a Moses development and enhancing its limitations for company and commercial implementation. Certainly taking the complexities away and bringing MT to really user level is the future (as we believe in Pangeanic).

Localization World – Silicon Valley

It would be hard to overlook the comments made in other blogs about the event become “lighter” and with less content. The now (in)famous “Moses Madness and Dead Flowers”, which obtained more than inspiration from a Gartner’s report on the “hype cycle” (check similarities here even in the graph and pdf) described it as an almost empty event. Since time is one of the most precious things in life, I spent most of my time giving a hand at the Translators Without Borders booth, one of the humanitarian efforts Pangeanic supports, together with Medicins sans Frontièrs. It would be unfair to comment on the whole of the conference beyond the two talks I attended (obviously the MT round table, which was pretty general) and the SEO session, rather informative for beginners like me.

Localization World is increasingly becoming a gathering event where professionals and practitioners spend some days networking and pushing forward some of their ongoing projects. More user cases, independent of the theme of the conference are needed for attendees to relate to the experiences, learn and apply them.

Tekom

Ms Elia Yuste and Mr Andreas Thömel represented Pangeanic at the European Language Industry Association’s (ELIA) stand. Tekom differs from other events in the fact that translation and technologies are one of the domains within its overall focus on technical communication. Nevertheless, it was clear that a lot more people need machine translation than people are capable of customizing it. It is also clear that there is an ever increasing need to publish more multilingual content (and faster) than ever before. There are simply not enough (good) translators around.

It is not a simple LSP gathering but a place with more technology showcases. Interestingly enough, we heard comments from other MT vendors that “I am repeating the same stuff I’ve been talking about for the last 2 years”. There is a need for evangelization for MT adoption indeed, but surely there has been innovation beyond the “sell cheap machine-translated words”!!

Japan Translation Federation

Japan Translation Federation is the smaller conference out of the four events.  It is pretty much a domestic conference that attracts a lot of Japanese LSPs and technology vendors. I was very happy to see that at all starting sessions began with references to machine translation applications, in several shapes. Some presenters used the example of successes in Western languages was set as a guiding light for wider CAT use and MT in the Japanese localization industry. Only further research, funding and time will improve existing offerings into and out of Japanese.

I was invited to present  Pangeanic’s syntax-based hybrid at one the closing sessions to a very interested audience, which can be downloaded from http://t.co/7VFkbmuI.

There is plenty of news and comment which could have made it to this entry, from CSA research to merger and acquisitions. Undeniably, the market is ripe for further consolidation. This is something we will deal with in our next blog entries.

A very happy start to 2012 to all our readers!!

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