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05.12.2006

Lithuanians don’t need to learn English

For immediate release

PROMT, the leading world provider of machine translation technologies, announced today the start of a project for development of the English-Lithuanian machine translation system. The project is financed by the structural funds of EU. The need for such a machine translation system has been studied for more than two years and confirmed in a public opinion poll of Lithuanian citizens.

The purpose of the project - developing an English-Lithuanian translation system, Lithuanian language linguistic resources and tools, and building a translation service on the Internet. The total cost of the project - 5.5 million Lithuanian litas (nearly $2 million). The project should be completed by the end of December, 2007. The result will be a Lithuanian analogue of a popular translation site, www.Online-Translator.com, built and supported by PROMT.

The need for translation of English-speaking sites has come to light during research conducted by the leading linguistic center in Lithuania – Centre of Computational Linguistics of Vytautas Magnus University (VMU). Representatives of various social-demographic groups ascertained the need for machine translation to expand their outlook and sphere of contacts. Fewer than half of the respondents have indicated that they have no problems in understanding Web-sites in English. The remaining respondents have no opportunity to receive any of the helpful information available on the Internet or are compelled to spend a great deal of time on translation.

The project manager of VMU project Vaidas Repecka, says that «machine translation service under development will be free of charge for users». The service will be available on a special Web-site. Also, special free plug-ins to simplify the translation process will be available for download for all types of browsers. The service will allow English web-pages to be translated to Lithuanian with full preservation of the layout by one click of a mouse.

The evaluation of the developed machine translation software will be accomplished by independent experts who will estimate the accuracy and adequacy of the text by a special technique. The developers estimate that the translation quality will score not less than 70 % (see a technique of an estimation of translation in the reference below). All the development processes will be reviewed by the experts of the European Union as well.

The project for developing machine translation software for translation from English to Lithuanian is carried out by VMU. The translation quality was a key in choosing the winner of the tender. As a result, the consortium of two companies – PROMT from Russia and the Lithuanian Alna Software have won by managing to demonstrate persuasively their technological advantages.

For PROMT the project of English-Lithuanian language pair development is the first experience of “technology export” to another company where the part of the project job will be carried out. Within the framework of the project, PROMT will transfer technology of the general dictionary development for PROMT translation software to VMU.

"Although Lithuanian morphology is one of the most complex, our translation technology is perfectly suited to developing translation software for the Lithuanian language. Therefore, we do not doubt that the translation service created as a result will receive a high ranking not only from experts, but also from Lithuanian users, - Svetlana Sokolova, PROMT’s President said. - The beginning of the project shows that the joint work with the local developer can be very effective. It is now already possible to say that we are ready to consider opportunities for joint development for other languages".

Reference materials
Estimation technique of the translated text correctness

Each sentence is estimated on a five-point scale. The sentence receives the lowest estimations, if all (1 point) or almost all (2 points) essential information is lost. If part of the information is lost, but the meaning of the sentence remains clear, the sentence will receive three points. Five points are given for correct representation of the initial information without any sense of distortions. For an estimate of the quality of the machine translator, the percent of the sentences which have received 3 and more points undertakes.

About Alna Software

Headquarters in Lithuania, market leader in the Baltic States, business and expansion across the EU, global outlook - the attributes of Alna, a skilled innovative company on the up. With 17 years under the belt, Alna climbs into the ring, packing a powerful punch in the worldwide provision of quality assured IT services.
Boasting almost 600 professionals across Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Poland, Alna specialises in providing their clients with unique solutions, guaranteeing they maintain the competitive edge to stay that all important one step ahead of the field. With expertise across three main IT areas – IT services and consulting, enterprise application solutions and customized software solutions – Alna stands as a powerful partner to our clients, offering immense value in terms of innovative ideas, speed of service, flexibility and customer satisfaction.
More details at www.alna.com

About PROMT

PROMT is a world leading provider of automatic translation solutions. The company develops translation software and services awarded by the leading computer magazines. PROMT provides automatic translation for seven world languages: English, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and Russian, with a total of 24 translation directions for over 100 specialized domains. PROMT offers translation solutions for the Internet, intranets, PCs, Macintosh, handheld and smartphone devices under the trademark @promt. PROMT’s translation solutions are being applied at AOL, SAP AG, Siemens AG, NASA, DaimlerChrysler, DHL, Metro Group and many other companies.
More details at www.e-promt.com

About Centre of Computational Linguistics of Vytautas Magnus University

Centre of Computational Linguistics was founded in order to start an archive of electronic texts and on its basis to compile a general purpose corpus of the Lithuanian language as well as special corpora; to create other language resources such as concordances, lexical databases, electronic dictionaries, etc. based on Lithuanian corpora; to create software tools meant for corpus analysis and in this way to advocate application of computers in humanities in general and linguistics in particular.
More details at www.vdu.lt, http://donelaitis.vdu.lt.

Press contacts:

Alexander Andreev
Marketing Director
Tel.: +7 812 331-7540
E-mail: Alexander.Andreev@e-promt.com
Web: www.e-promt.com


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