The European language technology company Tilde has released the world's first neural machine translation (MT) systems for smaller languages. Tilde Neural MT systems, available to the public in a free online translation service, prove that neural machine translation provides a significant boost in automatic translation quality for smaller languages.

"We are proud to achieve this major breakthrough in machine translation for smaller languages," said Tilde CEO Andrejs Vasiļjevs. "This achievement is particularly important for languages with just a few million speakers, which do not possess the large volumes of data required for developing good statistical MT. Our work contributes to extending quality MT for a wider range of language communities."

Tilde Neural MT systems are currently available for translating from Latvian and Estonian, which are among Europe's most linguistically complex languages, into English (and vice versa). In a comparative evaluation conducted by professional translators, the output of Tilde Neural MT systems produced significantly better quality translations than traditional statistical machine translation systems and the online service Google Translate.

Tilde is at the forefront of research and innovation in neural machine translation. The result of Tilde's research has been shared with other members of the Quality Translation 21 (QT21) project, a task force of leading European research centers to push the limits of MT. Over the coming year, Tilde plans to roll out neural MT systems for other languages with less than 8 million speakers.

To support languages in the digital age and enable multilingual communication for customers, Tilde develops custom MT systems, online terminology services, mobile translation apps, and content analytics tools. Clients in the localization industry, multinational corporations, and public administrations use Tilde's services to cross language barriers in their everyday work.