World Trade Organizations
Language Translation System Incorporates ISYS
The World Trade Organization has developed a Translation
Assistance System, incorporating the powerful ISYS search engine.
The aim of the system was to create a fully integrated translation
and terminology tool for the Geneva-based World Trade Organization (WTO).
The result is a radical change to translation methods and a significant
improvement in the way terminology support is provided.
In the absence of a commercially available tool geared
to its specific needs, the WTOs Translation and Document Division
has developed its own tool, called the Translation Assistance System (TAS).
With this system the Translator has access, in electronic form, to the
document he or she has been asked to translate, together with search facilities
over more than one million pages of previous translations and hundreds
of dictionaries/glossaries, and other translation aids, states a
paper presented by WTO representatives.
The ISYS search engine has been in use by both the United
Nations and the World Trade Organization for some years. However, the
translation project required the use of the ISYS:sdk for complete integration
of the search engine. The work, which has spanned many months, resulted
in close consultation between the ISYS Search Software office in Sydney
and the WTO developer in Geneva.
The WTO has been keeping electronic documents since 1986.
TAS caters for three languages - French, English and Spanish - and currently
stores approximately 45,000 documents per language. The average rate of
translation work per year is 7000 documents - which becomes 20 to 30 documents
generated every day. ISYS indexes all of the documents in all languages,
as well as a growing collection of vocabulary listings and a trilingual
glossary of key terminology (c. 18,000 terms).
Until the development of TAS, translators were required
to use three different applications, each with its own limited capabilities
and specific interface and set of commands. TAS allows translators to
access all facilities through one application only. Translators can communicate
on-line with support staff, ask questions and receive replies - making
the physical location of translators and support staff irrelevant. More
importantly, translators can perform a document search for an expression
in a source language and see all documents containing the same expression
in the target language. Results are thus displayed in two parallel windows,
with the source language on the left and the target language on the right
with full paragraph synchronization.
Translators can now browse and search their own previous
translations, as well as locally stored private glossaries and references.
Personal output statistics, workload levels and deadlines can also be
made available to each individual.
TAS represents a revolutionary way of assisting translators
and of exploiting the search facilities of ISYS this time in the
rapidly expanding translation market. Initially the new system will be
used by 50-70 translators in-house and will be accessed from abroad via
the Internet by next year.