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Of Translators and Librarians

September/October 2019 Issue

This was the title of a short article I wrote a little more than 10 years ago, in 2008. The point of the article was to highlight the remarkable speed with which librarians had accepted technology (unlike translators at that point). I contrasted the well-known “The Bookworm” painting by Carl Spitzweg of 1850 with this […]

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Fake News

July/August 2019 Issue

Yes, I hate this buzzword as much as you do, at least as it’s used in the present political climate. But it did capture your attention, and, like it or not, there actually is some meaning associated with the concept of “fake news” in a more traditional sense. I believe we’re dealing with several “fake […]

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Using Neural Machine Translation Beyond Post-Editing

May/June 2019 Issue

In the past, I’ve conducted a number of back-and-forth email conversations with experts on topics that are interesting and useful to me and, hopefully, to the community at large. The following conversation turned out to be very useful as well, but it was not conducted as straightforwardly as some of the others. Why? Well, it’s […]

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Artificial Intelligence and Translation Technology

March/April 2019 Issue

I recently asked all the translation technology vendors that came to mind this question: What are the areas in which you see artificial intelligence playing a role in your technology and/or in the translation-related technology of other vendors? Why ask that? Well, there’s been a lot of talk about artificial intelligence (AI) in technology in […]

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Wondrous Things at the ATA59 Dictionary Exchange

January/February 2019 Issue

Here’s a story that at first glance might not make sense in a technical column, but then maybe that’s exactly where it should be. Something happened ATA59 in New Orleans that still makes my heart go pitter-patter when I think about it. About six months ago, someone asked me whether I could think of a […]

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Augmented Translation

November/December 2018 Issue

Common Sense Advisory (CSA, coined the term “augmented translation” some time back, and while I always felt that I understood what it meant, I never really looked into the specifics. Now I have and think it’s an interesting term that we’re all better off being acquainted with (whether we like the term or not). […]

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Too Much Data?

September/October 2018 Issue

I’ve been pondering a lot about one of the most dramatic changes we’ve seen in the world of translation. And now you say: Yes, I know, machine translation! You’re right that this is a big change, but it’s not really what I’ve been thinking about (at least not exclusively). I’ve been thinking about data. We […]

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DeepL Questions

November/December 2017 Issue

When DeepL, the neural machine translation engine (, was released at the end of August, it took me a few weeks to talk to someone at DeepL/Linguee about, well, DeepL. (By the way, it’s pronounced deep-l.) The company has been a little overwhelmed by the immediate attention it received when, with great fanfare, it released […]

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Translators without Borders and Technology

July/August 2017 Issue

Translators without Borders is a nonprofit organization based in the U.S. that “aims to close the language gaps that hinder critical humanitarian and development efforts worldwide.” The organization maintains a global network of professional translators who volunteer their services to provide aid in humanitarian crisis response. The efforts of TWB are worthwhile mentioning in more […]

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