TSM – Translation Search Machine

TSM: the Internet's first translation search engine

Geneva, 18 January 2005. Geneva-based Translation Network is launching TSM (Translation Search Machine), the first translation search engine on the Internet. TSM uses multilingual websites to find translations for specific terms. By automatically analysing translations from these sites, TSM will grow to become the largest translation repository in the world.

TSM searches websites that have been translated into several languages. Found documents are broken down into individual translation units and indexed on the basis of page formatting. When a search term is entered, the corresponding translation is displayed in all the available languages. The results are sorted according to the quality and length of the translation units.

Unlike other search engines, TSM's indexing covers individual translation units, not entire pages, whereby these translation units may be paragraphs, titles or the contents of a cell in a table. When two or more search terms are combined, this innovative technology yields far more accurate results, and it is highly likely that the algorithm developed by TTN will come to be used by all Internet search engines.

The beta version of the search engine was activated on 1 January 2005 and already contains over 20 million translation units. By comparison, the world's largest online dictionary only comprises about 8 million terms. Around 1 million new translation units are added to TSM every day, so it will soon become the world's largest terminology database. The quality of TSM's results improves automatically with every new site scanned in. The program is designed to accommodate an unlimited number of languages, and by the end of the year around 60% of all translated web pages will have been indexed.

By analysing translations from multilingual web pages, TSM will form a vast translation repository that will greatly facilitate searches for terminology. Translators working on complex texts spend up to 70% of their time researching terminology. When displaying search results, TSM gives not only the translation of the term requested, but also the context in which the term is used. Particularly with complicated terms, TSM far outperforms conventional dictionaries.

Even I was amazed at the accuracy of the search results when I tried out the prototype for the first time“, says Martin Bächtold, TSM's inventor, who been conducting research in terminology management for over 13 years. "In the next phase, we will be grouping the pithiest TSM search results in a more sophisticated form and incorporating them in an artificial intelligence dictionary. This will serve to create new dictionaries (e.g.Romansch-Chinese) that could never be produced using conventional methods. A further step will entail replicating parts of the translation repository on a large number of servers, where they can be used for machine translation. Until now, automatic translation has produced barely usable results, but this enormous database means we will have to start viewing it in a completely different light.“

The continued development and maintenance of the search engine will be financed through the sale of translations. Two years ago, TTN Translation Network launched the first fully automatic Internet translation agency. Translation requests are passed on to university-trained translators and proofreaders extremely rapidly. Translations produced for customers form an integral part of the search engine and are protected using passwords. Search results derived from previous translation requests and from customers' homepages are displayed first, helping to ensure that translators use the correct terminology for a particular customer.

For further information, please contact:

Martin Bächtold
18, bd des Philosophes
CH-1205 Genève
Tél.: 022 328 84 63
Internet: www.ttn.ch
Email: ttn@ttn.ch