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Today we’ll give you a quick overview of PLuTO‘s IPTranslator tool. This tool provides a simple and unobtrusive way to access customizable machine translations tailored for use while you patent search.
At the Intellogist Blog, we’ve been continually fascinated about the state of machine translation for patent documents. We examined the Future of Patent Translations (Human or Machine?). We’ve taken a look at two specialized machine translation tools: Patent Translate and 2lingual. We’ve conducted a more comprehensive comparison between the machine translation capabilities of Google vs. Bing (second part found here). We’ve discussed expert human patent translation services with Sonja Olsen and Lisa Louis at Landon IP in a two part profile, considering what advantages human translation still retains over machine translation.
So today, sit back and enjoy the latest chapter in our patent translation tale: a look at the very capable IPTranslator!
In many ways, IPTranslator represents a positive evolution of the external machine translation tool for patent documents. While far from being the most important part, it is telling that PLuTO included the ability to translate with Bing or Google from within the tool, in alternative to their own translations. This kind of confidence to stand shoulder to shoulder with the well-established machine translation giants of the web can only serve to give IPTranslator users confidence.
First of all, since IPTranslator is a browser plugin, it is designed to be utilized in conjunction with whichever search tool you already use, and meant to supplement or supplant the translation capabilities of those search systems. IPTranslator is designed to work by grabbing the text from the page you’re currently on, for select supported systems, but users can also paste text into a free-entry box or upload a file directly into IPTranslator as well.
Upon conducting a translation, one of the most helpful features present in IPTranslator is the ability to quickly and easily identify which terms match up between the original and destination languages. This can assist those with multiple language skills to use IPTranslator as a “first pass” translation as they can examine which parts of the translation are to their liking and which parts need to be revised. It should be noted that the value of having a “first pass” translation depends on the intention of the translation. Legal and precise translations may need to be constructed by native language speakers with technical experience.
To go hand in hand with this ability to examine the translation piece by piece, users are encouraged to modify their own translation corpora with the “My Terminology” interface within IPTranslator. This feature allows users to insert their own “source to replacement” translation for a particular word or phrase. This feature will be handy for advanced users who wish to create an even more honed translation experience that may be able to cut down on mis-translations.
Users can also directly download their translation to PDF, TXT, DOC, and ODT formats.
This has been but a brief glance at IPTranslator, and I definitely recommend that you check out their very helpful site (including FAQ, video, and slideshow presentations) for more information on the product.
IPTranslator is free to download, and the first 50 translations with the tool are also free (pricing is to be determined by the IPTranslator team after your trial translations are used up). With that in mind, I encourage you to check it out and see if it fits into your current patent searching framework. It might not be a replacement for expert human translation, but machine translation technology keeps marching on and proving its worth in the prior art searching community.
What do you think of IPTranslator or any of the other machine translation providers out there today? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
This post was contributed by Intellogist Team member Chris Jagalla. The Intellogist blog is provided for free by Intellogist’s parent company Landon IP, a major provider of patent searches, trademark searches, technical translations, and information retrieval services.