Technologies for Translation and Interpreting: Challenges and Latest Developments

Diana Ballard, STAR Group

Scaling language technologies to overcome growing challenges and deliver new value

11 December 2020

To tackle growing complexity, volumes, languages, channels, media how are language technologies shaping up to meet today’s challenges and what developments are on the horizon? In this session, we will explore the importance of workflow automation to blend the language technology ecosystem to tackle growing complexity, showcasing STAR challenges. Our example will focus on unlocking the value of Big Data to deliver reliable Translation Memory through a process of alignment and Machine Translation.

 CLM (Corporate Language Management). Secondly, we will discuss a real-world case where blending language technologies can answer new 


Over 20 years, Diana has worked in international business development and global account management at Language Service Companies. Prior to this, she was technical communications manager at a Japanese Manufacturing company migrating its technical information operations from Japan to the UK where she supervised the end-to-end information process from authoring, translation, approval, printing and delivery to the assembly line. Previously, Diana gained early experience at a business development consultancy having graduated from the University of Liverpool, where she read English Literature and French.

Technologies for Translation and Interpreting: Challenges and Latest Developments

Dr Antoni Oliver González, The Open University of Catalonia

Techniques for automatic terminology extraction: implementation into TBXTools

9 December 2020

In this talk main techniques for automatic terminology extraction and for automatic detection of translation equivalents of terms will be presented. The talk includes an explanation of the implementation of these techniques into TBXTools, a free tool for terminology extraction. We will explore statistical and linguistic methodologies for terminology extraction. We will also present the implementation of automatic search of translation equivalents of terms in parallel corpora and in statistical machine translation phrase tables.

Dr. Antoni Oliver

Antoni Oliver is a lecturer at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC, Barcelona, Spain) and the director of the master’s degree in Translation and Technologies. His main areas of research are machine translation and automatic terminology extraction. He is developing TBXTools, a free terminology extraction tool, available at

Technologies for Translation and Interpreting: Challenges and Latest Developments

Prof William D Lewis, University of Washington and Microsoft Translator:

Automatic Speech Transcription and Translation in the Classroom and Lecture Setting: The Technologies, How They’re Being Used, and Where We’re Going        

4 December 2020


We have witnessed significant progress in Automated Speech Recognition (ASR) and Machine Translation (MT) in recent years, so much so that Speech Translation, itself a combination of these underlying technologies, is becoming a viable technology in its own right. Although not perfect, many have called what they’ve seen of the current technology the “Universal Translator” or the “mini-UN on a phone”. But we’re not done and there are many problems to solve. For example, for Speech Translation to work well, it is not sufficient to stitch together the two underlying technologies of ASR and MT and call it done. People are amazingly disfluent, which can have profound negative impacts on transcripts and translations. We need to make the output of ASR more “fluent”; this has the effect of improving the quality of downstream translations. Further, since “fluent” output is much more readable and “caption-like” than disfluent, it is also more easily consumable by same-language users. This opens doors to broader accessibility scenarios. Speech Translation is currently being used in a variety of scenarios, no more so than in education. It sees its greatest uptake in settings where one or more speakers needs to communicate with a multilingual population. Perfect examples are the classroom, but we also see its use in parent-teacher conferences. The underlying technologies can be enhanced further by giving users some control over customizing the underlying models, e.g., to domain-specific vocabulary or speaker accents, significantly improving user experiences. In this talk I will demonstrate the technology in action as part of the presentation.

Dr. William Lewis is an Affiliate Assistant Professor at the University of Washington, and until recently, a Principal PM Architect with the Microsoft Translator team.  He has led the Microsoft Translator team’s efforts to build Machine Translation engines for a variety of the world’s languages, including threatened and endangered languages, and has been working with the Translator team on Speech Translation.  He has been leading the efforts to support the features that allow students to use Microsoft Translator in the classroom, both for multilingual and deaf and hard of hearing audiences. 


Before joining Microsoft, Will was Assistant Professor and founding faculty for the Computational Linguistics Master’s Program at the University of Washington. Before that, he was faculty at CSU Fresno, where he helped found the Computational Linguistic and Cognitive Science Programs at the university. 

He received a Bachelor’s degree in Linguistics from the University of California Davis and a Master’s and Doctorate in Linguistics, with an emphasis in Computational Linguistics, from the University of Arizona in Tucson. In addition to regularly publishing in the fields of Natural Language Processing and Machine Translation, Will is on the editorial board for the Journal of Machine Translation, has previously served on the board for the Association for Machine Translation in the Americas (AMTA), served as a program chair for the National American Association for Computational Linguistics (NAACL) conference, served as a program chair for the Machine Translation Summit, regularly reviews papers for a number of Computational Linguistic conferences, and has served multiple times as a panelist for the National Science Foundation. 

Technologies for Translation and Interpreting: Challenges and Latest Developments

Prof Stephen Doherty, University of New South Wales

Eye movements, cognitive load, and human-computer interaction with translation and interpreting technologies

2 December 2020

Technological advances have led to unprecedented changes to translation and interpreting (see Doherty, 2016), chiefly in how we access and use translation and interpreting technologies for a diverse and growing range of professional and personal activities. Previous empirical research on translation and interpreting technologies has yielded a wealth of evidence to advance our understanding and usage of these technologies in addition to making them more visible and accessible. Of particular value amongst this growing body of work is the use of eye tracking in exploring and understanding the psychological and cognitive aspects of translation and interpreting technologies by analysing our eye movements as we interact with these technologies and use their outputs.

In this paper, I will consolidate this work by presenting a critical review of empirical studies of translation and interpreting technologies which have employed eye tracking, including my own recent work in the Language Processing Lab at the University of New South Wales. I will categorise previous research into areas of application, namely: computer-assisted translation tools, quality assessment of machine translation, post-editing machine-translated output, audio-visual translation, and remote interpreting. In closing, I will discuss the strengths and limitations of eye tracking in such studies and outline current and future research.

Suggested background reading:

Doherty, S. (2016). The impact of translation technology on the process and product of translation. International Journal of Communication, 10, 947–969.

Speaker’s bio

I am Associate Professor in Linguistics, Interpreting, and Translation, and lead of the HAL Language Processing Research Lab at UNSW. With a focus on the psychology of language and technology, my research investigates human and machine language processing using natural language processing techniques and combinations of online and offline methods, mainly eye tracking and psychometrics. My research has been supported by the Australian Research Council, Science Foundation Ireland, the European Union, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters, New South Wales Ministry of Health, Enterprise Ireland, and a range of industry collaborations. As a Chief Investigator, I have a career total of $1.5 million competitive research grants. 

Prior to my appointment at UNSW Sydney (2014), my doctoral (2008–2012) and post-doctoral research positions (2012–2013) were funded by Science Foundation Ireland and supervised by Prof Sharon O’Brien, Prof Dorothy Kenny, and Prof Andy Way at the CNGL Centre for Global Intelligent Content in Dublin City University, a multi-million euro, cross-institutional centre now known as the ADAPT Centre for Digital Content Technology. My subsequent post-doctoral position (2013–2014), supervised by Prof Josef Van Genabith, was based in the School of Computing and the National Centre for Language Technology at Dublin City University as part of the QTLaunchPad project, a €2.2 million project funded by the European Union through its Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) for research and technological development.

Technologies for Translation and Interpreting: Challenges and Latest Developments

Dr Juan José Arevalillo Doval, CEO/Managing director of Hermes

Quality standardisation in language industry

27 November 2020

Abstract: Quality in the language services industry is a very blurred term, but omnipresent in all activities from the moment a customer requests a translation service to the delivery and final closing of the project. In this process everything is measured and compliance with all requirements is usually a guarantee of success with the customer. In addition, there are numerous quality standards under ISO’s umbrella covering different services and aspects in this industry, which are applied on a daily basis and also form the basis of numerous academic programmes. Knowing this environment is essential for the future professionals so that they can know where they fit into the process and how to behave and act in that process.

Bio: PhD in Translation by University of Malaga, MA in Specialised Translation by the Institute of Modern Languages and Translators by Madrid Complutense University and BA in English Language and Literature by Madrid Complutense University.

In translation industry since 1980, he is the Managing Director at Hermes Traducciones y Servicios Lingüísticos. Previously worked as a freelance translator and as a language specialist and localiser in Digital Equipment Corporation.

A lecturer on Translation at Alfonso X University (Madrid) and International University of Valence (Spain), he is also the professional advisor for future graduates in the former university. He works with other Spanish high-education centres such as Autonomous University of Madrid, Autonomous University of Barcelona and ISTRAD of Seville.

Formerly Vice-president and Treasurer of the European Union of Associations of Translation Companies (EUATC), now he is the EUATC Youth Ambassador to try to cover the gap between university and industry and help new graduates join professional world. He is also the Chairman of the Spanish Association of LSPs (ASPROSET).

Chairman of Spanish Committee for Translation Services at UNE (Spanish Standardisation Association), and one of the creators of EN-15038 and ISO-17100 standards. He is also a member of ISO TC37 Committee for Translation Services.

Technologies for Translation and Interpreting: Challenges and Latest Developments

Prof Mark Shuttleworth, Hong Kong Baptist University

Free translation memory tools: a comparison of some well-known systems.

25 November 2020

The use of translation memory tools is now fairly well embedded within the profession. While many translators are obliged to use one or other well-known system, others who are able to choose for themselves are perhaps confused by the sheer choice of systems that are available. In this talk I will demonstrate Memsource, Wordfast and Matecat and attempt to answer the following two questions: 1) to what extent does a free tool provide you with the functions that are needed to work at a professional level and 2) what are the strengths and weaknesses of each of these three systems?’

Speaker’s bio:

Mark Shuttleworth has been involved in translation studies research and teaching since 1993, at the University of Leeds, Imperial College London, University College London and, most recently, Hong Kong Baptist University. His publications include the Dictionary of Translation Studies, as well as articles on metaphor in translation, translation technology, translator training, translation and the web, and Wikipedia translation. More recently he has become interested in the use of digital methodologies in translation studies research. His monograph on scientific metaphor in translation, Studying Scientific Metaphor in Translation, was published in 2017 and he is currently working on a second edition of the Dictionary.

Keynote speaker engagements have included translation studies conferences in Poland, China and Malaysia. He has also addressed industry conferences in the UK, Italy and Brazil on the subject of translation technology and has provided training in the same area in Spain, Italy, Portugal, Finland, Tunisia and Malaysia.

Mark Shuttleworth is a fluent speaker of Russian, German, Polish and French and has some knowledge of a number of other languages including some Chinese. As and when time permits he is active as a translator.