"It's complicated" - Heidi Depraetere (CrossLang) on improving translation workflows

Posted on Oct. 28, 2016

Terminology, translation process management, and machine translation, those are three key elements to improve translation workflows according to CrossLang director Heidi Depraetere. On Wednesday, October 26, CALM students enjoyed a guest lecture, teaching them about what makes the various aspects of a translation workflow so complicated. CrossLang is a consulting and systems integration company dedicated to translation automation technology and has a number of global customers who need to translate on a regular basis a wide variety of document types to a large number of languages all over the world.

Despite leading to proven quality increases, only very few companies make use of terminology management. "Terminology in companies is a big mess, it's chaos," said Depraetere. Perhaps even more surprising, machine translation (another productivity booster) is currently only adopted by 3-5% of translation agencies. The main issues in the industry are the false promises made, and the lack of transparency towards the user regarding the costs and quality of machine translation systems. Still, Depraetere is hopeful for the future of machine translation, believing in a gradual acceptance of the technology comparable to what has happened with translation memories: "translators should see MT as just another tool." 

With courses on Terminology and Translation Technology, Machine Translation, and Project Management, the CALM postgraduate already prepares its students for the reality of the translation world, but "it is really nice to hear things from a company perspective," as one of our students confirmed after the presentation.


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