EU helps machine translation with one million sentences

The EU is offering translation software developers free access to one million sentences translated between 22 of the European Union's 23 official languages

The European Commission is offering translation software developers free access to around one million sentences translated between 22 of the European Union's 23 official languages. It hopes the data will help improve the quality of a variety of language tools, including grammar and spelling checkers, online dictionaries and machine translators -- particularly in less well-served languages such as Latvian or Romanian.

The sentences are mostly drawn from the "Acquis Communautaire," the body of law that must be implemented by all new E.U. member states, and include the treaties, directives and regulations adopted by the E.U., and rulings from the European Court of Justice.

Translated by professional translators, they cover topics such as IT, telecommunications, labor law, agriculture and fishing.

The translations form part of the "translation memory" used by the Commission's permanent staff of 1,750 translators, and are matched up, sentence by sentence, in each of the 22 languages, and are tagged with subject classifications.

The matching and tagging makes the sentences especially useful for developers of statistical machine translation software, who must amass a corpus of thousands of matched sentences in the languages between which they wish to translate, so that they can calculate the most likely translation for any given expression. Since the matching of sentences has already been done, they will save time -- and the immense size of the Acquis Communautaire will help them make their calculations more accurate.

Until now, developers have typically resorted to scouring the Web for texts translated into several languages, and using other software tools to make a guess at where sentences start and end in order to match them up.

While the release of the data will benefit software developers, the Commission is not being entirely altruistic: it hopes that the availability of better, cheaper automated translation software will help speakers of the E.U.'s minority languages by giving them access to online information currently available only in the more widely spoken languages.

Interested developers can download the texts from the Web site of the Commission's Directorate General of Translation. They will also need the text extraction program and its library.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Peter Sayer

Peter Sayer

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?