More content into more languages!

This article was originally written in English. Text in other languages was provided by machine translation.

With all the internet chatter about Google’s decision to end their free machine translation (MT) API and transition to a paid service, some of you may be curious what role machine translation plays at Adobe.

Adobe does not currently integrate Google’s API into any products so we are not directly affected by this change. But we do license machine translation technology from commercial vendors and we are actively investigating ways to leverage MT throughout the company.

Adobe has a market presence in over 30 different languages, so any bit of documentation produced in English potentially multiplies out to a considerable cost if translated into all of those languages. Likewise, every day the company receives incoming communication in the form of emails, testing feedback, and customer service inquiries in even more languages!

To help manage this communication both directions, the Globalization Group at Adobe has turned to machine translation technology. The first step has been to insert MT into the document translation process. Instead of sending documentation out for translation from scratch, we first run the text through MT engines that have been customized for Adobe terminology, and then have our translators post-edit the output. Doing so, we see a speed-up of up to 50% with greater terminological consistency.

Right now, about 20 products are using MT for at least one language — including Photoshop, Acrobat, and Illustrator — and the list is expanding each month.

And the story doesn’t end there!  We are actively working on other ways to leverage MT to improve our ability to serve and communicate with a worldwide audience. Watch this blog as we gradually roll out new initiatives in the coming months!

— Raymond Flournoy
Senior Program Manager, MT Initiatives
Translation Technology Team

2 Responses to More content into more languages!

  1. Ultan (Oracle Apps-UX) says:

    Thanks for this post Raymond, very interesting. User assistance translation is a cost and time to market challenge. Great to see MT used this way. Are you taking any measures to assure the quality of the source content? Will be back to this blog….

    • Yes, we have been using authoring tools for a while to improve our human translation process, and we are able to reap all those benefits with machine translation as well. While MT quality has improved dramatically over the last 10 years, authoring control and engine customization are still key for realizing efficiency gains with MT post-editing.

      Thanks for the comment, Ultan!

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