The Translation Automation User Society (TAUS) is at the bleeding edge of translation technology, and I follow their work closely since I’m a bleeder too, (Message: I ❤ automation).
To be perfectly frank (and hopefully none of my clients are reading this), the whole TEP (translation, edit, proof) process is actually kind of a grind. I mean, I love the business, but translation itself is too much like homework to suit my taste. If I ever disclosed my GPA, you would understand.
So I’m into translation automation, and not just to get out of doing homework; rather, it’s because automated processes are essential to the quality our customers expect.
Since I’m still waiting on the final season of Breaking Bad on Netflix, this weekend I binged instead on the TAUS Translation Technology Showcase Webinar series.
I finally caught this series after Jost Zetzsche of the International Writers’ Group told me about it. He is on the panel of experts. Jost is my go-to guy on language technology, and whatever he’s interested in interests me. (I’ll be taking a closer look at Jost’s work with the Translator’s Tool Box in an upcoming post.)
The monthly Translation Technology Showcase Webinar – on the first Wednesday of the month at 8:00am Pacific and 5:00pm Central European Time – is “open to all users and buyers of translation technology and tools, and simply to anyone who is interested.” There is lots of news on technology developments and best of all, demos on video that allow viewers to see these tools in action.
A lot of the work that TAUS does is oriented around very large solutions for very large enterprises, so small fry without seven-figure technology budgets may sometimes feel envious. But technology is changing the translation business so fast that it is incumbent on even the lowliest 2000-words-a-week translator to keep his eye on the technology tsunami horizon. Winter is coming… no wait, I think that’s from Game of Thrones. Instead, let’s call it the translation singularity (after our pill-popping friend Ray Kurzweil), i.e., we fire all the translators. I thought that was next year, but Jost was able to talk me down off the ledge.
The TAUS vision for the future of translation is a quite a bit more nuanced than my own. The webinar is just one part of a larger effort “to support entrepreneurs and principals in the translation industry to share and define new strategies through a comprehensive range of events, publications and knowledge tools.”