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Software language DeepL and Acrolinx : Translators redundant?

The list of customers of the Acrolinx is impressive: Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Nestlé, and Boeing rely on the Expertise of Acrolinx. The Berlin-based company in 2002 as a spin-off of the German research center for Artificial intelligence (DFKI). It was a pioneer in the use of KI, as the technology has experienced no Boom, as in these days. "Ten years ago, we were looking at with our idea, often obliquely," recalls chief technology officer Ulrich call Meier. Because the company has developed a kind of digital Selector is a Software to analyze the voice quality and to make suggestions for improvement.

Big companies have their own language rules

How this works is demonstrated by the co-founder Sabine Lehmann. You open a Word document on the Computer, right next to popping a window and a number lights up red: The Text gets out of the Acrolinx Software a score of 57. A maximum of 100 would be possible, starting from a value of 80, the quality is so good that the color changes to Green.

The problems on the example of text beginning with the Heading. About three rows it covers. "Too long?", it says in the notes in the window next to it. Even otherwise, many words and whole sentences are highlighted in blue. Be faulted, there is a high density of substantial four and so-called passive constructions – typical of authorities in English. Also if there are too many subordinate clauses, warns the program. The user should check whether the formulations may be difficult to understand. In the case of words such as "ultimately," the Software does not ask whether this phrase is unnecessary.

The improvement of intelligibility and style, however, is only one aspect. "Most large companies have their own rules, how to write", explains Lehmann. It has its own "tone of voice guidelines". In this tone of voice guidelines is then set, for example, whether the company we, "writes in the texts, rather," or, instead, if possible, the name of the company. Or whether the customer is a "customer", "client" or "consumer". In addition, a Bank uses a very different style of language than, for example, a sporting goods manufacturer.

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a Lot of companies want young blades

change such requirements. "Often companies say, we sound too old-fashioned, and want to be a youth painting," says call Meier. Then the company to speak to for example your customers with You instead of you.

The Berlin-based analysis program helps in the part of Thousands of texts that emerge daily in large corporations, such guidelines are implemented, and to preserve a uniform style. Also within a text, the Acrolinx ensures consistency and pointed out, for example, if certain terms and names are not written consistently.

the Six languages of the Acrolinx dominated. In addition to German and English, which are in focus, Japanese, Chinese, French, German, and Swedish. More are currently in planning. "We don't have to grow on languages," says call Meier. Three-quarters of the sales come from the United States. Already with the existing offer, there is still enough potential for possible customers. Important currently, the Software on as many of the other programs to connect to directly, texts can be analyzed.

Translations are currently not an issue. Wherein the Artificial intelligence of the Acrolinx indirectly can help, as the example of SAP. The software group was one of the first customers, because there are many documents to be created in German and English and 42 other languages. SAP has, therefore, a network of 100 translation agencies. "But if the quality of the output texts, the Translations will be easier," says call Meier. In addition, expenses and costs, if, for example, understanding of the omitted questions.

DeepL Google in the shadows

But also purely machine Translations make it thanks always better-trained Algorithms, an enormous progress. Created Translations read on the Computer a few years ago, even worse than the kryptischste directions from China, provide services such as Google Translate, meanwhile, are often quite useful results. And the best computer interpreters currently comes from Cologne, from a Start-up DeepL. "The Translations are in General better than that of Google Translate and Microsoft's Bing", stated, for example, testers of the renowned US-based technology portal Techcrunch. And even professional Translators are already discussing whether the Software can be out of a Job.

DeepL went from Linguee, which is a search engine for Translations. However, instead of pointing only to the best possible Translations, decided to founder Gereon Frahling 2017, in the meantime, tens of billions of search queries obtained Know-how to use a Online Translator, which is available in a basic version for free .

The Start-up has trained its Algorithms with particularly good Translations. In addition, it uses a different kind of neural networks than Google. About the Details, the company is silent, in order to keep the competition at a distance. But the Americans cannot catch up the fast? "We are very confident that we can keep our lead," says chief technology officer Jaroslaw Kutylowski. The company has also just received a capital injection: in the end of December, the renowned US Investor Benchmark is opted-in to DeepL. "We want to expand the research and development," says Kutylowski. The number of currently about 30 employees, is expected to double in the next twelve months. In addition, the company wants to grow worldwide, yet much stronger.

Translators use the service

Google will Also improve its digital interpreter. SPD-Secretary-General Lars Klingbeil believes, therefore, that it would no longer give Translations in a few years, as a service, "because the technological development makes it unnecessary". So, the wise interpreter will be in the future unemployed? "DeepL is now often better than some of the human translators", gives the interpreter Andrea Bernard in an article for the Association of Translators and interpreters (DVÜD). This can tempt your customers to actually use the machine instead of expensive people. However, the quality was deceptive. "In DeepL many believe that one can trust the result blindly and unquestioningly on its Website or in the glossy brochure publishing," warns Bernard. However, in Detail, the System did then but still many errors that stand out, only native speakers or professionals.

"Not only an interpreter deals with spoken texts, but also Translators who work with written texts, not for a long time is unnecessary," also believes DeepL developers Kutylowski. But professional Translators would use the service in order to facilitate the work.

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Translator at the Berlinale in other words

Christian Vooren

interpreters have to worry even less, because to translate spoken language is even more complex - even if Google, Skype and other also make a great deal of progress. Perspective on the Vision of Science Fiction author Douglas Adams is likely to become a reality: The once described the Babel fish that can translate in the ear all the languages of the world. "I think something will give at some point," says Kutylowski. However, until it is so far, and there is also the question of whether you even need to learn languages, it'll still take a while.

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