Estonia to create a central translation platform

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Laptop computer (photo isillustrative). Source: Thought Catalog/Unsplash

A central translation platform is to be created for the Estonian state by the government's order, the goal of which is to ensure the development and use of the Estonian language in the context of digital technology, the Ministry of Justice said on Friday.

The central translation environment will bring together the technological solutions needed for managing orders for translation, machine translation, translation memories, multilingual glossaries and other technological tools needed for translation. In addition, everyone will be able to translate their texts in the new environment as well as use the interfaced glossaries.

"The translation environment is aimed to be used first and foremost by the public sector for translating official texts; however, open access will be provided to the technological solutions and they can also be used for private sector development, which will strengthen the position of the Estonian language in the digital world and increase the number of products with Estonian language support," Minister of Justice Maris Lauri (Reform) said.

With its domain-specific glossaries and machine translation models, the central translation environment will foster economic growth by improving businesses' competitiveness and eliminating language barriers, which general-purpose language-based machine translation models alone are not able to do, the ministry said.

"It is also important to highlight that the technologies to be offered on the platform will foster the integration of speakers of other languages as translations of texts and speeches in Estonian will rapidly reach residents whose first language is not Estonian. It also ensures better access for people with hearing loss and visual impairment by turning translations into text or speech, respectively," the minister said.

The introduction of the central translation environment will reduce the time spent on translation for users and expenditures on translation services. The quality of translations as well as consistency in terminology will likewise improve.

The Ministry of Justice deems it important that machine translation should take into consideration the terminological principles of legal translation. For instance, the latest full versions of all Estonian laws are available in English in the Riigi Teataja gazette with most of the terminology therein checked and also used in all other translations.

The creation of the translation environment will be led by the Ministry of Education and Research in cooperation with the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of the Interior. The environment is planned to be created in stages from 2022 to 2026.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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