On Wednesday 21 March, 2018, TAUS Director Jaap van der Meer received the title of ‘Honorary Professor’ from the Beijing Language and Culture University for his outstanding achievements in the global translation industry. For this occasion he was invited to give a guest lecture to the students of Translation Studies Faculty of the Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU).
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On 22-23 March, 2018, part of the TAUS team was in Beijing for the TAUS Asia Conference. It was the sixth time that TAUS came to China, but we quickly realized that it should actually be an annual event on our calendar. This was the first TAUS conference ever hosted by a university, namely the Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU).
Translation automation has recently experienced a major shakeup – the emergence of neural MT*. This marks the start of a new journey of exploration into the opportunities and limitations of machine learning (ML) in translation and language technology more generally.
It takes just a day of wandering in Tokyo as a non-Japanese speaker to understand why translation innovation starts in Japan, and much less so in other places of the world. Both visitor and host are totally helpless and hopeless when trying to talk to each other. That is much less the case in Europe and North America where English often becomes the ‘langue véhicule’ for tourists and business men.
The TAUS Asia Conference in Beijing on March 22-23 is shaping up as exciting. Here’s a sneak preview from my own vantage point.
“Find two Latvians, they’ll form three political parties”, goes a saying about the Latvian tendency to oppose each other. Even if they share common values and goals, they’ll find something to disagree over and waste time in petty quarrelling while diverging from the issues that really matter. As a result, they end up with multiple, often contradicting solutions to the same problem and poor reputation among their neighbors.
People don’t want lawyers – they want justice! In the same way, businesses don’t want translators, they want their content out there in other languages. How can we best engage with these content providers - and the translators that work for them?
This article is inspired by the Boutique Conversation held at the TAUS Annual Conference 2017, featuring the panelists Rachel Soulages (Google), Paul Mangell (Alpha), Salvo Giammarresi (PayPal), Christian Arno (Lingo24) and Christopher Dell (Booking.com).
TAUS is starting the new year with something special - a new eBook! We warmly invite you to download and read Nunc est Tempus, activate your (biological!) neural networks, and join the conversation about the future of the industry.