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Technologies for Translation and Interpreting: Challenges and Latest Developments

Dr Parthena Charalampidou, University of Thessaloniki

Storytelling and multimodal metaphors in technical and operative content of multilingual corporate websites.

1 October 2021

Abstract:

Technical Communication constitutes a prerequisite for a product’s safe and efficient usage, as well as an inextricable part of its dissemination processes and branding strategy. It has to be localized, i.e. culturally adapted to the countries in which a company’s products or services are marketed, supporting their respective languages, and optimized for multilingual SEO. Traditionally, Technical Communication was offered in printed form only and took place through written discourse usually accompanied by supporting images. However, with the advent of technology and the development of digital means of communication, Technical Communication has transformed into a multisemiotic and multimodal form of communication. Dynamic pictures and videos have replaced static technical content found in imagetexts. Moreover, interactive elements allow users to share their personal experiences with the product and even become producers of Technical Communication content themselves (Kimball, 2006).

In this context, technical content is no longer isolated from the company’s marketing strategy but is rather very often integrated into it through the hypermodal possibilities offered by the multimedial context in which it occurs. The brand’s storytelling can then take various forms and can become intertwined, through different traversals, with the product’s technical documentation. Thus, although technical content was formally considered mainly informative, new realities reveal that technical content can be both operative and expressive, in line with the marketing story of the brand.

In this talk we will address this new form of multimodal technical content and the development of digital storytelling in localized  and international corporate website versions. We will examine, comparatively and contrastively, the multisemiotic narratives that are being developed in different cultural contexts, in order to appeal to different audiences, either local or international ones. Particular attention will be given to multimodal rhetorical tropes such as multimodal metaphors and the way they contribute to a corporate website’s narrative. Multimodal metaphors’ culture-specificity is expected to unveil discrepancies in different language versions.

Bio:

Parthena Charalampidou holds a BA in English Language and Literature, an MA in Language and Communication Sciences and a PhD in Translation and Website Localization from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Her research interests revolve around semiotic, rhetorical and cultural approaches to translation and she is particularly interested in the localization of promotional digital genres (transcreation) and in the application of technology and corpora to translation. Currently, she teaches Localization and Multimodal translation at the department of Translation, School of French Language and Literature, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. She is also a member of the teaching staff of the Joint EMT Postgraduate Programme “Interpreting and Translation” and has been a Visiting Scholar of the Erasmus Mundus Master Programme ‘Technology for Translation and Interpreting’ for the spring semester of 2020-2021. She has worked as a freelance translator and she is a member of scientific associations for translation and semiotics. She has participated in national and international conferences and her research has been published in various scientific journals, volumes and conference proceedings. She has recently translated Miguel Jimenez Crespo’s book “Translation and Web Localization” in Greek.

Responsible Digital Humanities Lab (RIGHT) – Job Vacancies

The Responsible Digital Humanities Lab (RIGHT) is the first of its kind in the UK and seeks to be a regional, national, and international leader in the field of Digital Humanities (DH).  RIGHT’s priorities will be to advance the field of DH, foster strong collaboration across the University of Wolverhampton (UoW), and create tools, datasets and guidelines for ethical, responsible Natural Language Programming (NLP) focused DH. The emphasis on responsible DH makes it a unique, pioneering hub for advancing human-centred computing. We bring AI to the Humanities while also utilising active research in the Humanities, which engages with questions of ethics and the human experience, to guide responsible progress in AI.

RIGHT will harness NLP, corpus-based and Deep Learning expertise to deliver internationally leading research in Humanities disciplines such as Sikh and Panjabi Studies, History, Literature and Film Studies with impact reaching far beyond academia. It will develop a flagship DH initiative for Panjabi with the Centre for Sikh and Panjabi Studies. RIGHT will be situated within the Research Group in Computational Linguistics (RGCL), which has a strong track record of NLP and DH research, prestigious national and International collaborations, and strong collaborative links within UoW. RIGHT will be supported by the Statistical Cybermetrics Research Group (SCRG) and the Centre for Sikh and Panjabi Studies.

There are 3 Lecturer posts and one Research Associate for which we are currently recruiting.

Panjabi Digital Accessibility and Literary Heritage Research Associate

RIGHT Lecturer in Computer Vision and Deep Learning for Digital Humanities

RIGHT Lecturer in Corpus-based Digital Humanities

RIGHT Lecturer in Natural Language Processing and Deep Learning for Digital Humanities

The University of Wolverhampton celebrates diversity and recognises that difference brings value to our organisation.

As part of our commitment to ensure the diversity of staff body reflects the diversity of the student and local communities we serve, we particularly welcome applications from candidates of Black, Asian, or Ethnic Minority heritage, and candidates who are Disabled (including people who whilst not self-defining as disabled do encounter challenges due to a society that disables them by lack of inclusivity).

We are proud to have been awarded Disability Confident employer status, included in the Stonewall list of employers and are working towards improving our practices against Athena Swan and the Race Equality Charter. We believe in creating an even playing field for all our colleagues, where we can all belong.

PLEASE NOTE: Applications are scored against the criteria set out in the job description and person specifications attached to this advert. Applications are not assessed against the job advert so please ensure your applications are crafted against the Job Description and Person Specification contained within it.

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Technologies for Translation and Interpreting: Challenges and Latest Developments

Dr Joss Moorkens, Dublin City University.

Digital Taylorism in the Translation Industry

23 July 2021

Abstract:

Translators have worked with the assistance of computers for many years, usually translating whole texts, divided into segments but in sequential order. In order to maximise efficiency and inspired by similar moves in the tech industry and predictions for Industry 4.0, large translation companies have begun to break tasks down into smaller chunks and to rigidly define and monitor translation processes. This is particularly true of platform-mediated work, highly collaborative workflows, and multimedia work that requires near-live turnaround times. This article considers such workflows in the context of measures of job satisfaction and discussion of sustainable work systems, proposing that companies prioritise long-term returns and attempt to balance the needs of all stakeholders in a translation process. Translators and translator trainers also have a role to play in achieving this balance.

Bio:

Joss Moorkens is an Associate Professor and Chair of postgraduate translation programmes at the School of Applied Language and Intercultural Studies at Dublin City University. He is also a Funded Investigator with the ADAPT Centre and a member the Centre for Translation and Textual Studies. He has authored over 50 journal articles, book chapters, and conference papers on translation technology, user interaction with and evaluation of machine translation, translator precarity, and translation ethics. He is General Coeditor of the journal Translation Spaces with Prof. Dorothy Kenny, and coedited the book ‘Translation Quality Assessment: From Principles to Practice’, published in 2018 by Springer, and special issues of Machine Translation (2019) and Translation Spaces (2020). He leads the Technology working group (with Prof. Tomas Svoboda of Charles University) as a board member of the European Masters in Translation network and sits on the advisory board of the Journal of Specialised Translation.

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Technologies for Translation and Interpreting: Challenges and Latest Developments

Prof. Barry Olsen, The Middlebury Institute of International Studies

RSI has taken the world by storm. So, what have we learned and where do we go from here?

16 July 2021

Abstract

No one could have foreseen the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the interpreting profession or its accompanying effects on the adoption rate of remote simultaneous interpretation (RSI) all over the world. In a question of weeks, international organizations, national governments, non-governmental organizations, and private corporations were meeting, negotiating, and conducting business online at a scale never seen before, often in multiple languages. But this abrupt adoption of web conferencing with RSI was not entirely smooth or without its challenges. We are now at a stage where we can compile a list of lessons learned during this unprecedented shift in professional practice and turn our sights toward the future to address the new digital world of multilingual communication and interpretation technology’s place in it.  This presentation will share some of those lessons learned and some thoughts about what the future of RSI may hold.

Bio

Barry Slaughter Olsen is a veteran conference interpreter and technophile with over twenty-five years of experience interpreting, training interpreters, and organizing language services. He is a professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS) and the Vice-President of Client Success at KUDO, a multilingual web conferencing platform. He was co-president of InterpretAmerica from 2009 to 2020. A pioneer in the field of remote simultaneous interpretation (RSI), he is co-inventor on two patents on RSI technologies. He is a member of the International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC). Barry has been interviewed numerous times by international media (CNN, CBC, MSNBC, NPR, and PBS) about interpreting and translation. For updates on interpreting, technology, and training, follow him on Twitter @ProfessorOlsen.

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Technologies for Translation and Interpreting: Challenges and Latest Developments

Prof Ruslan Mitkov, University of Wolverhampton

What does the future hold for humans, computers, translators, and interpreters?

A non-clairvoyant’s view.

22 July  2021

(60-min introduction to Natural Language Processing)

Abstract:  Computers are ubiquitous – they can be found and used everywhere. But how good are computers at understanding, producing, and translating natural languages? In other words, what is the level of their linguistic intelligence? This presentation will examine the linguistic intelligence of computers and will ask the question of how far advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) can go. Illustrations will be provided through key applications addressing parts of the translation process such as machine translation and translation memory systems and the challenges ahead will be commented on …

The presentation begins with a brief historical flashback, plotting the timeline of the linguistic intelligence of computers against that of humans. It then gives another snapshot in time depicting early work on Machine Translation. Over the last 20 years, as will be discussed in the presentation, advances in Natural Language Processing (NLP) have significantly increased the linguistic intelligence of computers but this intelligence still lags behind that of humans.

The presentation will go on to explain why it is so difficult for computers to understand, translate and, in general, to process natural languages; it is a steep road, and a long and winding one, for both computers and researchers. The talk will briefly present well-established NLP techniques that computers use when ‘learning’ to speak our languages, including initial rule-based and knowledge-based methods and more recent machine learning as well as deep learning methods, which are regarded as highly promising. A selection of Natural Language Processing applications will be outlined after that. In particular, the talk will look at the recent advances in Machine Translation and will assess the claims that Neural Machine Translation has reached parity with human translation.

The speaker will express his views on the potential of MT, and the latest research on ‘intelligent’ Translation Memory systems will be outlined along with expected developments. The future of Interpreting Technology and its impact on interpreters will also be touched on.

I am no clairvoyant, but during my plenary talks I am often asked to predict how far computers will go in their ability to learn and translate language. At the end of my presentation I shall share with you my predictions and, in general, my vision for the future of translation and interpreting technologies. These predictions, though tentative, will be relevant to the impact that AI advances can have on the work of translators and interpreters in the future.



Speaker’s bio: Prof Dr Ruslan Mitkov has been working in Natural Language Processing (NLP), Computational Linguistics, Corpus Linguistics, Machine Translation, Translation Technology and related areas since the early 1980s. Whereas Prof Mitkov is best known for his seminal contributions to the areas of anaphora resolution and automatic generation of multiple-choice tests, his extensively cited research (more than 250 publications including 16 books, 32 journal articles and 37 book chapters) also covers topics such as machine translation, translation memory and translation technology in general, bilingual term extraction, automatic identification of cognates and false friends, natural language generation, automatic summarisation, computer-aided language processing, centering, evaluation, corpus annotation, NLP-driven corpus-based study of translation universals, text simplification, NLP for people with language disorders and more recently – computational phraseology. Mitkov is author of the monograph Anaphora resolution (Longman) and Editor of the most successful Oxford University Press Handbook – The Oxford Handbook of Computational Linguistics. Current prestigious projects include his role as Executive Editor of the Journal of Natural Language Engineering published by Cambridge University Press and Editor-in-Chief of the Natural Language Processing book series of John Benjamins publishers. Dr Mitkov is also working on the forthcoming Oxford Dictionary of Computational Linguistics (Oxford University Press, co-authored with Patrick Hanks) and the forthcoming second, substantially revised edition of the Oxford Handbook of Computational Linguistics.

Prof Mitkov has been invited as a keynote speaker at a number of international conferences. He has acted as Programme Chair of various international conferences on Natural Language Processing (NLP), Machine Translation, Translation Technology, Translation Studies, Corpus Linguistics and Anaphora Resolution. He is asked on a regular basis to review for leading international funding bodies and organisations and to act as a referee for applications for Professorships both in North America and Europe. Ruslan Mitkov is regularly asked to review for leading journals, publishers and conferences and serve as a member of Programme Committees or Editorial Boards. Prof Mitkov has been an external examiner of many doctoral theses and curricula in the UK and abroad, including Master’s programmes related to NLP, Translation and Translation Technology. Dr Mitkov has considerable external funding to his credit (more than є 20,000,000) and is currently acting as Principal Investigator of several large projects, some of which are funded by UK research councils, by the EC as well as by companies and users from the UK and USA.

Ruslan Mitkov received his MSc from the Humboldt University in Berlin, his PhD from the Technical University in Dresden and worked as a Research Professor at the Institute of Mathematics, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia. Mitkov is Professor of Computational Linguistics and Language Engineering at the University of Wolverhampton which he joined in 1995 and where he set up the Research Group in Computational Linguistics. His Research Group has emerged as an internationally leading unit in applied Natural Language Processing and members of the group have won awards in different NLP/shared-task competitions. In addition to being Head of the Research Group in Computational Linguistics, Prof Mitkov is also Director of the Research Institute in Information and Language Processing and Director of the Responsible Digital Humanities Lab. The Research Institute consists of the Research Group in Computational Linguistics and the Research Group in Statistical Cybermetrics, which is another top performer internationally. Ruslan Mitkov is Vice President of ASLING, an international Association for promoting Language Technology. Dr Mitkov is a Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany, was a Marie Curie Fellow, Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Franche-Comté in Besançon, France and Distinguished Visiting Researcher at the University of Malaga, Spain; he also serves/has served as Vice-Chair for the prestigious EC funding programmes ‘Future and Emerging Technologies’ and ‘EIC Pathfinder Open’. In recognition of his outstanding professional/research achievements, Prof Mitkov was awarded the title of Doctor Honoris Causa at Plovdiv University in November 2011. At the end of October 2014 Dr Mitkov was also conferred Professor Honoris Causa at Veliko Tarnovo University.

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Digital Humanities

Dr Ahmed Omer, XTM International

5 July 2021

Title: Computational Stylometry of Arabic Literature

Abstract:

The successful implementation of stylometric methods with English texts has motivated researchers who work with the Arabic texts to investigate whether they can use these methods in the Arabic language as well. Taking into account the different characteristics of the Arabic language, the main aim of my study is to investigate what are the most useful linguistic features to enable the authorship attribution task to be accomplished for Arabic texts. As well as using features derived from English studies of author attribution, I developed a number of feature sets derived from Arabic linguistic theory, namely Arud, Nazm and Wazn. The feature sets were compared on two corpora of travelogues, one in English and one in Arabic. The feature sets were examined in conjunction with agglomerative clustering methods and traditional machine learning classifiers including SVM, Naïve Bayes, and KNN, as well as a Deep Learning model implemented using the open source package Keras. The findings from this first part of the thesis were used to examine six real-life case studies from Arabic, two of Authorship Attribution, two on Author Profiling, and two on Authorship Verification. These case studies respectively were:

· Was Al-Qarni’s “Don’t Despair” plagiarised from Salwa?

· Did Abdu or Amin write certain key chapters of “Women’s Rights”?

· Were the “Hanging Poems” pre-Islamic or more recent?

· A study of the dialectology of Arabic speech.

· Was a box of posthumous texts by the Nobel prize winner Naguib Mahfouz indeed by him?

· Were some texts written by the Mediaeval scholar Al-Ghazali by him or by somebody else?

Bio:

Ahmed Omer has an M.Sc. in Computer Science from Napier University in Edinburgh and a Ph.D. in Computational Linguistics from the University of Wolverhampton. He is now working at XTM International as a Computational Linguistics Expert. The company is working in Machine Translation and they use the Inter-language vector space method. This interesting method has been used by Google and recently by Facebook to enforce their polices and to translate texts for customers in their platform.