Finland has set an excellent example to the rest of Europe by taking advantage of AI-powered neural machine translation (NMT) to facilitate and speed up multilingual communication during its Presidency of the EU Council from July 1 to December 31, 2019. Finland has set a new record for the EU Presidency Translator: 740 thousand translations with more than 12.7 million words, and a record high translation volume in November: 3.7 million words translated during just one month.
To support the Presidency of the EU Council in dealing with massive amounts of multilingual information, language technology company Tilde, acting in close partnership with the European Commission machine translation service eTranslation, developed a Presidency Translator tailored to the specific needs of each Presidency country. The Presidency Translator is a multilingual communication tool that enables Presidency staff, delegates and public sector employees automatically translate texts, entire documents, and websites. It relies on the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) eTranslation service supplemented by custom MT systems developed by Tilde for secure machine translation into all official EU languages.
Kaisa Kuhmonen, Head of Language Services Unit for the Prime Minister’s Office of Finland: "The Council Presidency Translator project provided the Prime Minister’s Office with an excellent opportunity to use a customized machine translation system. After a short testing period, our language specialists included machine translation in their daily translation activities for official Presidency documents and administrative texts. Our language specialists were very satisfied with the neural machine translation and ease of its use, as it seamlessly integrated into our translation memory.”
The recent AI advances have enabled Tilde and eTranslation teams to achieve a qualitative breakthrough in machine translation for such small and structurally challenging languages as Finnish. Neural Machine Translation is based on deep machine learning from large volumes of human translated text. The MT engine for the Finnish language was trained by Tilde that relied on more than 20 million translated sentences, which is comparable in size to 2,317 Harry Potter books. In Finland, the Presidency Translator is used not only for Presidency’s purposes, but also highly appreciated by numerous public bodies and individual users. The average daily number of words translated by the Presidency Translator amounts to more than 100,000.
The EU Presidency Translator is a unique solution that combines the best of two powerful machine translation systems. CEF eTranslation enables translation for all the 24 official EU languages and Tilde’s custom Neural MT provides superior-quality translation adapted for the Presidency requirements. The EU Presidency Translator is a high-quality automated translation tool that enables staff, journalists, delegates and translators to process large translation quantities in a short period of time. Presidency staff members can use automated translation of texts, full text documents with the support for most popular Office formats and websites. Journalists can quickly translate documents, press releases and local news site. Delegates can participate in multilingual meetings by quickly translating words and phrases during the meeting while translators can integrate it into their CAT tools that helps them boost translation productivity and efficiency. Solutions developed for all Council presidencies are also available to everyone else free of charge at www.presidencymt.eu.
Artūrs Vasiļevskis, Head of Machine Translation Solutions at Tilde: “Working with EU Presidencies allows us to make our contribution to preserving multilingualism in the digital age, and we take great pride in what we have achieved. The EU Presidency Translator has dramatically improved translation efficiency and helps to overcome language barriers and work in multilingual environments. Tilde has provided machine translation solutions to the last six Council Presidencies and is happy to integrate translation technologies for the purposes of Croatia's Presidency that will take place during the first half of 2020.”
CEF eTranslation helps the European and national public administrations exchange information without language barriers in the EU by offering machine translation capacities that allow all Digital Service Infrastructures (DSIs) become multilingual. This project is partly funded by a CEF Telecom grant "Translation Automation Services for EU Council Presidency (2018-EU-IA-0079)". This funding from the CEF Telecom program administered by the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) is made available annually for the uptake of eTranslation in Europe, as well as to support the provision of language resources to CEF eTranslaton. Eligible parties can apply for funding by submitting a proposal during the annual application period.