The Department of Water and Sanitation: Language Unit and language practitioners from UNISA attended the Autshumato Integrated Translation Environment (ITE) workshop that was held on 27 July 2016 at UNISA, Pretoria. The workshop was attended by 20 attendees and the Autshumato team consisted out of a presenter and 3 technical assistants.
An Autshumato ITE training workshop was held on Thursday, 23 June 2016, in Pretoria at the Financial Service Board and was attended by 3 language practitioners from the FSB and 10 language practitioners from UNISA.
The workshop was well received by all the delegates who are looking forward to using this excellent tool in their future work.
The Centre for Text Technology at the North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus) hosted a workshop on the use of the Autshumato Integrated Translation Environment (ITE) open-source translation software. The training workshop was held on Wednesday, 16 March 2016, in Potchefstroom and was attended by 10 attendees from different government departments such as the language unit of SARS, Mangaung municipality and the Office of the Premier (North-West).
The Autshumato development team is released the following translation services to the NWU’s students and staff:
The Centre for Text Technology’s Autshumato project won an award at the 2015 NWU Institutional Excellence in Research Dinner. More than 70 NWU staff members were acknowledged for excellence in research, innovation, community involvement and creativity at the gala dinner. The event took place on 30 October 2015 at The Roots, Potchefstroom.
Autshumato won the Outstanding Innovation Project award in the category Excellence in Technology Transfer and Innovation Support. Prof Frikkie van Niekerk, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research, Innovation and Technology, presented the award to Mr Wildrich Fourie, project leader of Autshumato. Wildrich thanked the NWU for the award and their recognition of the Autshumato project and the team behind it, who worked hard to deliver this quality product to the South African public.
Follow the link to a video recording of Wildrich Fourie at the event. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIRW8iGw9tY
This year’s SATI conference was held from 30 September to 1 October at Emperor’s Palace, Johannesburg. The event was held on International Translation Day, which perfectly suited the theme of the conference – The Changing Face of Translation and Interpreting.
Mr Wildrich Fourie, project leader of Autshumato, presented a research paper on the Autshumato software. He explained to the audience how translation tools, such as Autshumato, can be used by translators to assist them in delivering quality work in a more effective, less time-consuming way. He provided background on the development and functionalities of the software and supported his presentation by giving demonstrations on the different topics.
The Autshumato team had an exhibiting stall where delegates of the conference were able to ask questions and receive information on the use of this excellent translation tool.
In the light of International Translation Day, which is celebrated annually on 30 September, the Honourable Deputy Minister of the Department of Arts and Culture, Ms Rejoice Mabudafhasi, expressed gratitude towards the Autshumato project that is managed by the Centre for Text Technology of the North-West University.
Follow the link below to read the opening remarks delivered by Ms Rejoice Mabudafhasi at the celebration of International Translation Day, held at the Protea Hotel Capital in Pretoria.
On 21 August 2015 a training workshop on the use of Autshumato Translation Environment (ITE) was held at the Auditorium of National Archives of South Africa. The workshop was attended by 17 translators from various institutions and had the aim of teaching them how to make use of the Autshumato software to improve their workflow.
Workshop attendees were eager to learn more about the software and they look forward to use the software in future translation projects.
On 18 and 19 May 2015, two training workshops in the use of the Autshumato Integrated Translation Environment (ITE) were held in Cape Town. 46 language practitioners from National Parliament and the Office of the Chief State Law Adviser attended these workshops. The workshops aim was to help delegates use the translation software more effectively, thereby reducing the time required to process the large volume of documents that require translation.
The Centre for Text Technology (CTexT®) at the North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, developed the Autshumato software and systems, which consists of three main types of translation tools: machine translation systems, an integrated translation environment, and a terminology management system. The Autshumato range of tools is being adopted by a growing number of translators in the government domain. CTexT® offers support to government translators by holding training workshops and providing a helpdesk service.
The Department of Arts and Culture identified the benefit that technology could have for multilingualism in South Africa and initiated the Autshumato translation software project in 2007. This insight ensured that the Autshumato project reached maturity before the Use of Official Languages Act (Act 12 of 2012) was passed. The act empowers citizens to receive government information in all official languages and the Autshumato tools enables government and other organisations to achieve the set goals. The project has grown into one of South Africa’s most powerful human language technology projects, assisting language practitioners across the country to translate documents from one language to another.
The Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) awarded the third extension of the Autshumato project to CTexT®. This next phase entails the development of a machine translation system for an additional language pair, as well as making the existing systems accessible to a broader audience.
CTexT® will work on and expand the project for the next three years. According to Mr Wildrich Fourie, project leader, the first Autshumato project started in 2007 when the DAC realised that human language technology (HLT) can promote multilingualism in the country. “For them it was especially important that government documents and official communication should be clearly understood by everyone they were intended for. ”He says the DAC had the vision for Autshumato to be in the open-source domain, resulting in freely available software and resources to make communication in all the country’s official languages easy, understandable and effective. All the published resources are also freely available to the public.
The first Autshumato project focused on the development of machine translation systems for translation from English to IsiZulu, Sesotho and Afrikaans. The second project focused on translation from English to Xitsonga and the third project will focus on translation from English to Setswana. Wildrich says the ultimate goal is to have translation capabilities for all the official languages. Ms Sunny Gent, project manager of the Autshumato project, says the project benefits everyone in the country. “We are very proud of Autshumato. We invite everyone to use it; it is free of charge.”
The Autshumato project boasts a new website. A lot of work was done to simplify and optimise the look and feel of the site.
Translators in Parliament recently attended a workshop on the use of the so-called Autshumato open-source translation software. The software was developed by the North-West University’s CTexT® (Centre for Text Technology) as part of the Autshumato project, which is funded by the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC).
Autshumato is one of a number of human language technology (HLT) projects that the DAC initiated in 2007. HLT refers to technology that can process natural human language for the purpose of, for example, machine translation or spell checking. The DAC adopted HLT to support its work in the domain of language development and to promote access to information and multilingualism.
The Autshumato translation tools helps translators when translating a document into another language. It includes glossaries and translation memories, and has server-based machine translation functionality from English into isiZulu, Sepedi and Afrikaans. Development work to add another language-pair, English into Xitsonga, is under way.
“The high costs of computer-assisted translation and the growing need for translation services are some of the main factors that led to the development of the software. The software will also assist with the implementation of the Use of Official Languages Act of 2012, which empowers citizens to receive government information in all official languages as per the provisions of the Act. The distinguishing characteristic of the Autshumato software is that it is customised for South African languages. For example, the diacritics of these languages have been integrated to make it easy to insert them in documents,” says the DAC’s HLT director, Ulrike Janke.
The workshop hosted at Parliament was the second of three workshops scheduled to introduce the Autshumato software to language practitioners in government departments.
As part of the second Autshumato project the Integrated Translation Environment (ITE) and Terminology Management System (TMS) applications have been reworked to fix bugs, implement new features and to optimise the applications for daily use.
Download the Autshumato ITE ®
Download the Autshumato TMS ®
Each is available from their project page on SourceForge.net and includes installation instructions and user guides. The project pages also contain bug trackers, feature requests and discussions so anyone can become involved in improving the software and obtain support.
Early in 2013, the project was extended when a second Autshumato project was approved. During this extension of the project, another Machine Translation (MT) will be built to bolster the existing MT systems developed in the previous Autshumato project. This MT will automatically translate from English into Xitsonga in the government domain. All textual data collated for the development of the MT system will be released on the Language Resource Management Agency (RMA) website to enable researchers and developers to use the data for promoting research and development.
The project also includes basic maintenance of the Autshumato ITE and TMS applications, and the creation of supporting documentation such as Cheats Sheets, set procedures and an FAQ section.