Playing with language in a virtual world: The MUSE Project

I was recently taking a look at this project by the University of Leuven in Belgium called the Machine Understanding for Interactive Storytelling (MUSE) project, in which written text is converted into 3D virtual worlds, “a way of bringing text to life”. The research team has created this tool to teach computers how to understand human language. So far, they have been testing children’s stories and medical applications which the machine translates into images. MUSE’s project could give rise to very promising applications. For example, they would enable people to understand complex instructions or medical treatments.

You can read more in the sources below, but you can start “playing” with this technology and create a 3D demo. Very easy to use here:

Sources and further reading:

  1. MUSE official page.
  2. Would you like to draw by just using words? This project is part of the FETFX, or FET research. You can take a look at their other AI projects by clicking here.
  3. Watch this presentation recorded during the 2016 Translating Europe Forum given by Marie Francie Moens about Deep Learning for Machine Translation and Machine Understanding. (start at 3 h, 15 min to skip other presentations).

Have you used DeepL, Linguee’s offspring?

I think we have all used Linguee, haven’t we? Well, the company changed its name last year to DeepL. Linguee is one of the most widely used computer translation engines: 1 billion users have made 10 billion consultations. In 2016, based on all the knowledge gathered through Linguee, the developers started working on a neural network system by training their neural networks with billions of translations gathered by the Linguee crawlers. In less than 10 years (Linguee was launched in 2009) the company has taken great strides into machine translation using deep learning and neural machine translation.

DeepL has claimed that it is the “most accurate and natural-sounding machine translation tool based mainly on the assessments they have made using the BLEU method (Bilingual Evaluation Understudy), which compares a human translation against machine translation measured on a 1 to 10 scale. It is indeed promising, but still a lot of work needs to be done (terminology is still a big challenge) and some experts agree that DeepL’s claim is a bit far-fetched. For example, Kirti Vashee, a technology consultant, commented: “I think they are using well understood and public test sets and claiming that they have better results. To my view they are slightly better, but far from revolutionary.” Read more about this in this post by Slator.

As a final note, I thought it is interesting to mention that DeepL’s supercomputer is based in Iceland, to take full advantage of that country’s renewable energy which makes operations cheaper. This supercomputer can translate 1 million words in less than a second. One thing is for sure, this company will probably give us a lot of good products, even beyond translation, as they say that their “neural networks have developed a level of text understanding that opens several exciting possibilities”.

So, if you haven’t given it a try, here is the link to DeepL:, where, by the way, you will find a tab for Linguee too. 2 in 1!


Arthrex looking for terminology intern (Naples, Florida)

Language and terminology lovers take note! I just read this on Uwe Muegge’s Facebook page.

“Any aspiring linguist interested in working as a Terminology Intern as part of my team here at Arthrex (one of Forbes 100 best companies to work for) in sunny Naples, Florida? This is a paid, full-time position where you will be working with the absolute latest and greatest in enterprise language management tools and processes, and you’ll be learning from some of the best in the industry. Oh, and did I mention free lunches and our free on-site health clinic?” Please apply directly online:

Good luck!

Magic Search tool for terminology searches

Thanks to Spiros Doikas, Translatum Founder, Greek translator, and CAT tool trainer for sharing Magic Tool. I copy below part of his presentation about the tool, but visit this page to read the details.

It has been 4 years since Magic Search was launched, providing one-page search results of multiple dictionaries for a limited number of language pairs (up to 28).

The code of Magic Search has been refactored and massively enhanced to support a number of new features and well over 10,000 language pairs. Now it has its own dedicated domain—

All you need to do is select your favourite language pairsubmit a search, and you will get search results from a number of different sources (dictionaries, corpora, MT engines).

You can either have one page results ON or OFFON will allow you to scroll through the sources but it will be a bit jumpy until all dictionaries load, whereas if you select OFF you will have to click on each dictionary button in order to display it.

The next time you visit, the site will remember your choice of language pair. But this is not all. If you click on the gear icon, you can reorder as well as exclude/include the available sources. You can even add monolingual sources (excluded by default) in a bilingual search. For example, if you search from English to Greek, by clicking on the gear icon you can add English dictionaries from the Monolingual section of the Excluded column.

To make it easier for you, a dedicated Chrome extension has been developed (use ALT+double click to look up a word); language-pair-specific browser search buttons that work in most browsers (select a word and click the button to search); a language-pair-specific Word macro (which will lookup any word if the insertion point is within its boundaries); as well as a search form which you can embed in your site.



MOOCs for you!

I present below a few MOOCs that might interest you. If you read my recent interview to Rodolfo Maslias about the skills of the terminologist, these knowledge fields were mentioned. So I went to look at some of the main MOOC places to find free courses that we can take. Remember, you can choose to take the course for free with no certificate but also you can make a small payment to get the certificate. I usually like to take the first week and see how I feel about it before deciding if it’s worth getting the certificate or not. Let me know if you find other MOOCs that might be of interest to other readers. Some courses have already started, but you can still catch up! If it gets too advanced, at least the student can learn the basics and have a general idea of its contents.

  1. Introduction to the Internet of Things (IoT), Curtin University (Australia) starts in February.
  2. Deep learning explained. Microsoft, self-paced.
  3. Introduction to Big Data. Microsoft, already started until March 31st.
  4. Miracles of Human Language: An introduction to linguistics. Universiteit Leiden & Meertens instituut (KNAW)
  5. Towards language universals through lexical semantics. Introduction to lexical and semantic typology. National Research University (Higher School of Economics) in Russia. Ends February 19.
  6. Introduction to linked data and the semantic web. University of Southhampton. Register to show interest for the next course.
  7. Web science: How the web is changing the world. University of Southhampton. Register to show interest for the next course.

Happy learning!

IMOT’s top blog posts and pages on terminology in 2017

What better way to celebrate this New Year than sharing with you the 10 most popular posts and the 5 top pages in this blog for 2017. Just a note of caution: A few links within these posts are no longer active; however, I have left them as reference because I had originally quoted or adapted information from them to write the posts. Read More

Happy New Year, Terminology Lovers!

2017 was an excellent year, and I look forward to sharing a lot more in 2018. I want to thank all of you for your support during this year, whether it was subscribing to my blog, sending messages, or sharing in social media. There were times in the recent months when I didn’t even have time to share my posts as much as I wanted, but thanks to you they were tweeted and retweeted many times (you know who you are!).

May the New Year bring many beautiful moments with your family and friends, and to your personal and professional life. Remember to hug, kiss, and enjoy every day of your life.

Thank you! ¡Gracias! Merci! Obrigada! Grazie! Gràcies!

Lessons learned from TermCoord’s terminology interviews in 2017

It is very enlightening to read what terminologists around the world have to say, so I present below some quotes from the language lovers interviewed by TermCoord this year. I believe they help us reflect about important terminology issues. Not one comment is more relevant than the other, so I present them in alphabetical order. Please check the links to read more about their backgrounds and the full interviews. Enjoy ! Read More

The terminologist today and tomorrow: An interview with Rodolfo Maslias

I am honored to interview Rodolfo Maslias, Head of the Terminology Coordination Unit (TermCoord) of the European Parliament (EP), this time to talk about his presentation on the changing role of the terminologist titled The new terminologist. An all-round talent. Application Scenario for the European Parliament, under the topic “New Profiles for New Markets” that was discussed during the Translating Europe Forum which took place in Brussels last November.

  1. I was privileged to be part of the European Terminology Summit last year in Luxembourg and one of the presentations that really left an impression on me was Georgeta Ciobanu’s talk about the Terminologist of the 21st Century, and you reintroduced the topic in your presentation. How does this translate into changes in the university curricula to tackle these new challenges?

We are experiencing an impressive increase in the development of curricula and even full master’s degree programs on all aspects related to translation, communication and IT development, and always including a substantial part on terminology. Based on the master’s level course that we have been teaching with some colleagues since 2013 in the Communication Master’s at the University of Luxembourg, I have prepared—initially at the request of the University of Grenoble—a course on the new challenges of terminology which has a high demand in many countries. In all academic conferences, the new skills required for terminology management and the position of this specialisation in the globalised and multilingual market are always a hot topic.

Read More

Terminology Summer School 2018 by Termnet

Get your super early bird 15% discount (before 12/31) for TSS 2018 – taking place in Vienna, Austria, from 9 July to 13 July. Price for individuals is 700 euros. Here is the info on their webpage:

“Benefit from a training that will bring you to the next level of professional terminology work and management – learn from your peers and the leading terminology experts – enjoy one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

The International Terminology Summer School (TSS) is the leading and largest international summer school for terminology professionals with about 70 participants from some 35 countries and almost every continent.

TSS offers a one-week, practice-oriented training course covering a comprehensive overview of the methods and principles of terminology management in theory and practive.

The course is taught by some of the most renowned and prominent terminology experts in the world. Participation in TSS qualifies to obtain the ECQA Certificate for Terminology Managers.”

The Helsinki Term Bank for the Arts and Sciences

You might have heard about the Bank of Finnish Terminology in Arts and Sciences, but now you might be one of the first persons to know that it will be changing its name to the Helsinki Term Bank for the Arts and Sciences in order to highlight the fact that it includes other languages besides Finnish.

The Helsinki Term Bank is a research infrastructure project created with funding from the Academy of Finland and maintained by the University of Helsinki, in cooperation with the FIN-CLARIN consortium. It is an open-access terminological database, whose content is added, modified, and updated by niche-sourcing, i.e, participation is limited to a particular group of experts from selected subject fields. Thanks to this niche-sourcing method the research community takes responsibility for the availability of up-to-date terminology in their research field.

Sharing this responsibility among top experts guarantees the quality and accuracy of the term base content. Furthermore, when shared among the group of experts, the task is not too large for any individual participant. This is also a more democratic way of carrying out terminology work: there is no single gatekeeper in the field. Read More

The Brussels Declaration – for international cooperation on terminology

The first Terminology Summit of the European Association for Terminology (EAFT) took place in Brussels (Belgium) fifteen years ago in 2002 and the Declaration for International Cooperation on Terminology, signed on June 15, was one of its key outcomes, as it gathered a series of principles and actions to promote “special language communication based on multilingualism”. The idea behind this document was to showcase Terminology in society as a whole and provide a useful tool that could be used in different contexts.

It is important to include it in this blog as permanent reference, and it is also a good opportunity to take a quick look at some highlights. The declaration starts by saying that the signing representatives consider that “terminology is omnipresent in all human activity”. This is certainly a useful fact when we are selling Terminology, and a phrase that has to be repeated over and over again if we want to keep giving Terminology the place that it deserves.

Another element of the Declaration points out to the value of terminology “as a tool for communication and transfer of knowledge” and that we need to make professionals and decision-makers aware of this fact—not an easy task when we are trying to sell terminology! However, I think that the Declaration is indeed a good tool for us to prove that managing terminology effectively and efficiently is a great investment towards delivering high-quality translations and technical documentation. Read More