Custom Machine Translation Made Simple

Technology is changing everything we thought we knew about quality, productivity, competitive edge and customer confidentiality in the translation business. People respond to changes in their own ways. If you’re looking for something new, I invite you to try Slate™ Desktop because many translators, teams, agencies and small language service providers have found it helpful.

What is Slate™ Desktop?

Slate™ Desktop is an application suite that adds a machine translation service provider to your personal computer. The provider runs in the background for computer-assisted translation tools that also run on your PC like memoQ, Trados Studio and others.

There’s nothing new about using machine translation providers in your computer-assisted translation tool. Online services like Google, Microsoft, KantanMT and DeepL are easy, instant and automatic. They’ve been around for years. Before we can answer why use Slate™ Desktop instead of the online services, let’s look at their similarities and differences. Then we’ll come back to why.

Similarities between Slate™ Desktop and online MT services

They’re easy. You configure your computer-assisted translation tool to use Slate™ Desktop just like it uses the online services.

They’re automatic. Your computer-assisted translation tool automatically shows you machine translated segments from Slate™ Desktop and the online services.

They’re advanced. Slate™ Desktop and the online services share mature machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies.

They deliver a “brand” of quality. Some translators prefer the “Google brand.” Others prefer the “DeepL brand.” Some prefer the “Slate™ Desktop brand.” You get the idea.

Differences between Slate™ Desktop and online MT services

Slate™ Desktop runs on your PC. It works in the background and delivers machine-translated segments without sending your customer’s information to the Internet.

Slate™ Desktop is for one translator. Machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies are configured one translator, you. The online services configure their technologies for millions of users.

Slate™ Desktop does not instantly translate after you install it. You must first “teach” it how you want your translations by building a machine translation engine.

Important Distinction

Wait a minute! I said your colleagues report that Slate™ Desktop helps realize their goals, and one goal is productivity. Building an engine requires more work and time. How is that helpful? Let’s look deeper.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies are the heart and soul of all modern machine translation, including Slate™ Desktop. For decades they’ve been limited to serve millions of users with generic translations or to serve specialized translators with quality custom translations. These limits persist today.

To compound the problem, custom machine translation has been expensive, making it cost-effective only for very large volume projects. But I thought, “Can we make customized machine translation affordable and easy?”

I envisioned an easy and inexpensive software application that didn’t require specialized skills, but such an application would require a significant breakthrough. So, I started my work to transform custom machine translation.

Slate™ Desktop is that breakthrough in cost and complexity that makes custom machine translation simple and inexpensive. It’s a breakthrough with your specialized translation memories that become the custom machine translation engine delivering better quality.

Projects of all size, from one document to a library, have access to custom machine translation with better quality for a fraction of the price of traditional custom machine translation.

What are the alternates to custom machine translation without building your own engines? We could forget about high quality and package Slate™ Desktop with generic engines. We could require you to buy our expert services to build your Slate™ Desktop engines for you.

Do these things really constitute breakthroughs that create opportunities? After all, online services are “instant” without all the extra work. In short, yes. The opportunities are real and here today. Check out some of the Spotlight experiences in the sidebar on the right.

I know that requiring you to build a custom translation engine seems like a big inconvenience, but this feature in Slate™ Desktop gives you a unique competitive advantage.

Why Slate™ Desktop?

I’ve made Slate™ Desktop really easy to use. Powerful machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies run seamlessly on MS Windows as point-n-click applications. That’s why Slate™ Desktop is “custom machine translation made simple.” So…

The first answer to “why” is because it’s easy to build custom translation engines with Slate™ Desktop.

When Slate™ Desktop studies translation memories with translation units that you translated, it learns your bilingual knowledge, your vocabulary and your translating style. This step “teaches” Slate™ Desktop to translate like you translate, to deliver quality that meets your quality demands, to generate the best custom translations for you.

The 2nd answer to “why” is because your custom translation engine delivers excellent translations with quality your way.

These first two answers are great but let’s be practical. About 90% of all customers report Slate™ Desktop helps them realize their goals. What about the other 10%… those who did not benefit? Will you be a 90% or 10% experience?

You won’t know until you try. That’s why I guarantee you’ll experience the best customer support. I guarantee you’ll get your money back within 60 days of your purchase, just ask and uninstall!

The 3rd answer to “why” is because “maybe you shouldn’t.” There’s a chance you won’t experience the quality you want, BUT you’ll never now until you to try. You have an unconditional 60-day refund period to try Slate™ Desktop.

There’s a huge elephant in the room. To build your engines, you must have translation memories. You can’t use Slate™ Desktop without them. More translation units are better – if they’re all in the specialty.

The 4th answer to “why” is because “maybe you can’t.” If you don’t have translation memories, you can’t use Slate™ Desktop.

Finally, I know that Slate™ Desktop isn’t the only game in town. Some generic online services are pretty darn good for some language pairs and some generic subjects. So…

The 5th reason to “why instead of?” Well, the question itself is flawed. You’re free to use Slate™ Desktop “in cooperation with” other services. Slate™ Desktop is an expression of your freedom to choose and a pursuit of quality and productivity.

Managing Change

I started with a simple question. Given today’s technology-driven changes, are you looking for something new? Let’s see how Slate™ Desktop compares to the online services in light of its breakthroughs in complexity and cost.

Translation Quality: Slate™ Desktop exactly matched translators’ quality seven (7) times more often than a popular online service and reduced the remaining post-editing work 50%. Here’s a link to the detailed reports: https://www.slate.rocks/portfolio/translators-experiences/

Productivity: More exact matches and fewer post-edits resulted in a 25% to 30% increase in productivity compared to the online service. In practical terms, 5-day jobs were finished in 4 days and sometimes 3 days. Here’s a link to the study: https://www.slate.rocks/downloads/study-of-machine-translated-segment-pairs/

Competitive Edge: Slate™ Desktop highlights your unique skills to your customers. No other translator in the world will use your custom machine translation. Your consistent translation quality and on-time deliveries despite tight deadlines distinguish you. They are your competitive edge.

Customer Confidentiality: Slate™ Desktop runs on your PC. Whether you’re building a custom translation engine or working in your computer-assisted translation tool, Slate™ Desktop never sends your customers’ information to the Internet.

Return On Investment

Imagine two scenarios. In one, you work with a computer-assisted translation tool and translation memories for five days to finish 12,500 words. In the second, you add an online machine translation service and finish 15,000 words in the same 5 days.

Now, add Slate™ Desktop to each of these scenarios. You boost your productivity 20%. You finish both scenarios in four days. That gives you another extra free day in your week, week after week, month after month without any additional expenses. That’s your return on a one-time investment of only $269.

Finally imagine a more modest scenario. Slate™ Desktop boosts your productivity a meager 5%. That productivity boost is equals the online services. At parity, you still finish your work in 5 days, You stop using the online service. You stop paying the recurring subscription expense. That’s pretty good for a worst-case scenario!

Something For Everyone

Slate™ Desktop sets itself apart from the online services. Its breakthroughs in complexity and cost create opportunities to achieve your goals. Whether you’re an individual translator, an agency or small language service provider, whether you work with one language pair or dozens, one of these links takes you to a product that’s right for you.

Slate™ Desktop is for freelancers and teams working with one language pair. It makes custom translation engines to and from either language. It’s easy to work with machine translation that delivers quality your way! Share your custom models with teams members and colleagues who use Slate™ Connect.

Slate™ Desktop Pro takes custom machine translation the next level for translators, teams, agencies and small LSPs. Make custom models for all supported language pairs, activate on two PCs, automate with scripting and more. Share your custom models with teams members and colleagues who use Slate™ Connect.

Slate™ Connect has everything you need to run custom models on additional PCs. Slate™ Desktop activates on one PC. Pro on two. Run your custom models on more PCs without buying more Slate™ Desktop licenses. If you work with other translators in teams or agencies, learn more about sharing models with Slate™ Connect.

Slate™ Corpus is a specialized product for those who need to clean translation memories and convert them into a training corpus without the need to create the custom machine translation engines. If you don’t know what any of this means, then you can skip this product.

Are you looking for a ready-made open source package to build machine translation applications? You found it. Slate™ Toolkit adds support for phrase-based SMT models to our commercial Windows and Linux products. To our knowledge, this package is the world’s only complete collection of 64-bit Windows-compatible phrase-based SMT utilities.

COMING SOON: An online professional development course titled Machine Translation Fundamentals for Translators. It includes quizzes, practical exercises and a 60-day license for Slate™ Desktop Student. To reinforce learning, an instructor reviews your progress and coaches you through the learning. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive course status updates.

We can create specialized custom engines, automate Slate™ Desktop or create custom applications to your requirements. Send us a request for a quote. We’ll work through a the details with you and agree on a fee-for-services or fixed-fee project.

Social Sharing Discounts

A win! win! win! You get 10% off at checkout. Your colleagues learn about Slate. We have lower advertising expenses. Thank you!