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Home >> Customers >> Success Stories >> World Trade Organization

World Trade Organization’s 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 WTO’s 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.

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