H. Depraetere, J. Van de Walle

CrossLang (BELGIUM)
There is a continuing increasing need for educational institutes to provide course syllabi documentation and other educational information in English. Access to translated course syllabi and degree programmes plays a crucial role in the degree to which Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) effectively attract students and, more importantly, has an impact on international profiling. To present all educational information in English is a major challenge for most HEIs.

The regulatory environments in the context of the Bologna Declaration combined with budget constraints and limited human resources make it very difficult for HEIs to deliver English (and Chinese) documentation, which affects their capacity to promote their services locally in non-English-speaking countries, regionally, nationally and internationally.

Confronted with the ECTS requirements, many HEIs now spend vast amounts of money and time in providing traditional human translated documents. As European Higher Education and European Research are two pillars of the knowledge-based society, the Bologna Translation Service (BTS) project received funding under the European Commission’s ICT Policy Support Programme. The project aims at providing a solution by offering a low-cost, web-based, high-quality machine translation (MT) service. The first phase of the project will include the automatic translation of syllabi, study programmes, diploma supplements and student application forms from 7 local languages (Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Portuguese, Spanish, and Turkish) to English and from English to Chinese.

The BTS approach will be to integrate existing MT components into a web-based collaboration framework. The basis will be statistical MT (SMT) engines for all language pairs. The baseline SMT systems created using the Moses toolkit will be further elaborated and improved by sophisticated techniques such as domain adaptation and automated post-editing. In order to complement these SMT engines, rule-based methods will be used. Finally, a system combination strategy will be applied in order to further improve translation quality.

BTS will help student mobility and will play a role in making degrees and qualifications visible to the labour market, identifying career opportunities and stimulating the research needed to increase European competitiveness.

In this paper, we first describe the motivating factors behind the provision of such a service. Following this, we give an overview of the BTS framework as a whole, and provide a real world use case scenario in which BTS MT services are exploited.