Translation Dream in Macau

Lead: The first-ever Chinese-Portuguese translation supporting platform has been created in Macau

When translation technology is mentioned, people tend to think of Machine Translation (MT, also called “Automatic Translation”) tools and sneer at their quality. At this point, it becomes hard for Bill Gao, the boss of a Macau-based translation company Boss Translation, to introduce his dream of developing a Computer-Aided Translating (CAT) platform.

Indeed there is a common misunderstanding between MT and CAT, which are totally different concepts in the translation technology field. MT is aimed at substituting human translators, doing translation work completely by “machine”, while CAT mainly assists professional translators to do their job better by improving their continuity, consistency, unity and efficiency.

Due to this misconception, it was not easy for Bill and his team to begin developing their new CAT product: Chinese-Portuguese Assistant (CPA).

“Usually, entrepreneurs start from zero, but we started from negative,” he smiles, “Pioneering in a new field is lonely! You need a lot of courage and persistence to move on”.

After one and a half years of efforts, his dream has finally become true and this first-ever online support system for Chinese-Portuguese translation is going to be formally launched this month. Yet, this is just the first step, and Bill is still dreaming of popularizing other desktop CAT tools in Macau.

“Our product is just the first ‘bite’. After that, local translators will fall in love with the desktop CAT tools that we plan to bring in.”

Developing CAT tools involves both IT and translation knowledge, and most important of all, financial backing. Fortunately, in July 2011, Macau New Technologies Incubator Centre (Manetic) started to support his team by providing an office, facilities and market information.

One of the key advantages of CPA is its ease of use.

“Anyone who knows how to search on Google can easily use our product without any training. Secondly, we made it web-based to save any software installation. Thirdly, we built the bilingual database (Around 200,000 items) for the product.”

The final product can realize the “Basic Four” functions of any quality CAT tool: Continuity; Consistency; Unity; and Efficiency.

The idea to develop CAT tools dates back to the days when Bill was a part-time CAT lecturer at Peking University.

“At that time, there were not many choices on the market, and the western CAT tools are not designed for the translation between Chinese and Latin languages.”

Bill helped to pioneer Trados, a basic type of CAT software, in Mainland China and has been encouraged recently to see the University of Macau installing Trados on their computers.

“CAT has been popular for decades outside Macau. There are already CAT Master’s degrees and PHD programs, even in mainland China. At present, a translator can hardly find a job in China if they don’t not know Trados.”

Bill is confident that one day CAT will be just as popular in Macau. “At that time, CAT skills will be as important as the translator’s language skills. And as the platform for China and the Portuguese-speaking countries, Macau has a unique advantage of using two official languages, but of course, high quality translations are critical.”

For more information, please contact:
Boss Translation
Room 8/G, Edf. Comercial Si Toi, Avenida da Praia Grande No.619, Macau, China
T.: (853) 28828028
F.: (853) 28882855
E-mail: info@Boss.mo
www.Boss.mo

澳門翻譯之夢

全球首個中葡翻譯線上支援平臺已在澳門誕生

一提到翻譯技術,人們往往會想到 Google Translate 之類的「自動翻譯」(機器翻譯,MT)工具,同時會取笑它們的翻譯質量。每當碰到這種情況,澳門博士翻譯公司的老闆:高明(Bill Gao)就很難繼續談論電腦輔助翻譯(CAT)這個話題,更不用提開發一個電腦輔助翻譯平臺的夢想了。

實際上,在翻譯技術領域,MT與CAT是完全不同的兩個概念,而大眾普遍對其有誤解。MT旨在取代人工翻譯,其翻譯過程完全由「機器」開展;CAT主要是輔助專業譯者把工作做的更好,提高翻譯術語及翻譯風格的連續性和一致性,提高譯者的翻譯效率,規範翻譯的流程。

由於世人普遍對CAT有偏見,因此,博士翻譯公司在開發其新產品:「中葡資訊通」時並非一帆風順。

高明笑著說,「創業者通常從零開始,但我們是從負數開始的。在一個新領域創業非常孤獨,需要太多的勇氣和毅力。」

經過一年半的努力,他的夢想終於成真。這個全球首創的中葡翻譯線上支援系統將於本月正式推出!然而,這僅僅是第一步,他還計畫在澳門推廣其他桌面型CAT工具。

「『中葡資訊通』只是讓本地中葡譯者小試牛刀。之後,我們還會引入桌面型CAT工具,他們會愛不釋手。」

開發CAT工具並不容易,需要把科技與翻譯知識接合起來。另外,最重要的是金錢投入。幸運的是,2011年7月,澳門創新科技中心(Manetic)開始支援高明的創業團隊,提供免費的辦公室、辦公設施和市場訊息。

「中葡資訊通」的主要優勢之一是:簡單易用。

「只要會用Google搜索,就能使用我們的產品,無需任何培訓。其次,它是線上的平臺,無需安裝任何軟體。第三,我們已經為此產品建立了(約20萬條)中葡雙語資料庫。」

「雖然與桌面CAT工具的功能不可相提並論,『中葡資訊通』已經可以實現任何CAT工具的四個基本功能:連續性、一致性、統一性、和高效性。」

開發CAT工具的想法可以追溯到高明在北京大學電腦輔助翻譯碩士課程做兼職講者的時代。

「當時,市面上沒有太多選擇。而且,歐美的CAT工具不是專門為中文設計的,使用起來不方便。」

高明是中國最早一批使用TRADOS(最基本的一種CAT軟體)的譯者之一,並為TRADOS在中國的推廣做出了貢獻。近期,他發現澳門大學的電腦上已經安裝了TRADOS,很受鼓舞。

「無論是歐美還是香港,CAT都已經流行了二十多年了。甚至在中國內地,都已經有了CAT碩士學位。但是,在澳門,CAT仍然是一個新鮮之物。目前,在國內,一名譯者如果不會TRADOS,則很難找到一份翻譯工作。」

高明相信,有一天,CAT在澳門也將同樣流行起來。「到那時,CAT技能將與譯者的語言技能同樣重要。作為中國與葡語國家的交流平臺,澳門具有使用兩種官方語言的獨特優勢,然而,高質量的翻譯是發揮此平臺作用的關鍵。」

欲瞭解更多資訊,請聯繫:
博士翻譯有限公司
澳門南灣大馬路619號時代商業中心8樓G
電話:(853) 28828028
傳真:(853) 28882855
E-mail: info@Boss.mo