Where’s Phil?


Chief Technology Officer Phil Ritchie takes us to London for the XTM Live conference that he attended back in May 2019 for the first episode of this series of Where’s Phil adventures.

The annual conference hosted at the Curtain, London, welcomed over 100 companies to the event.

The conference allowed users of the system to share ideas with each other and for XTM to publicize new developments coming up.

The event offered various presentations and training sessions to attendees, such as learning to manage vendors or getting costs estimates.

One of the highlights of the conference was brought up by XTM’s Chief Executive Officer, Bob Willans, speaking about new developments of the products and the technicality of the process.

XTM’s CTO, Andrzej Zydroń spoke about their sophisticated alignment technology which is powered by NLP. Natural Language Processing (NLP) tools allow the grammar of a language to be handled much more accurately.

“Translation memories are a correspondence between sentences or paragraphs in one language and a second language. So typically, maybe English to German. But when you are a new user of translation services, you might not have a translation memory that exists. But you nevertheless might have already had some information translated into German and those two copies of the material exist on their own.  So, they have written what is called an ‘alignment tool’. So, you give it the English and you give it the German and it produces the translation memory”, commented Phil on the process.

“It kind of automatically lines the sentences up and that technology underneath uses a lot of this natural language processing to make the alignment very accurate because typically up until a few years ago, the alignment tools could do a reasonable job but you still had to go through it with a human and review it whereas this implementation is actually quite accurate” explains Phil.

Rigi, a localization platform founded by Localization veteran Henk Boxma – who was one of the 23 speakers present – was also featured during the conference.

When some tools are typically used to translate software strings, the lack of context proves to sometimes be a challenge for organizations, letting Rigi come to the rescue. Adding an additional string translation tool into XTM’s own application, the tool allows users to know where a particular software string is in the application.

“It is very impressive because people talk a lot these days about “in context translation” because they quite rightly feel that you can do a better translation if you know exactly where that string is going to be displayed within the user interface,” says Phil.

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