SDL SLATE (Smart Language Translation for the Enterprise) is the name of SDL’s new cloud-based self-service, which is in fact a multi-tiered solution offering machine translation (MT) for different user scenarios and service levels.
But what exactly is SDL SLATE? To give you a first impression and an overview of what this solution has to offer, we tested it thoroughly. Here’s what we found out.
First things first: the model behind SDL SLATE
After having registered and selected your preferred price plan, you can choose between several options for translating either free text or entire documents. You can select:
- First option: Automatic translation of free text or documents
- Second option: Automatic translation of documents with subsequent review
- Third option: Automatic translation of documents with subsequent revision
While translation of typed text is generally limited by a maximum of 1,000 words for each request (there’s no limit of requests by the way), the selected price plan determines the number of allowed document translations and service levels (see ‘Packages – at a glance’).
Good to know
The options ‘Review’ and ‘Revision’ correspond to “light post-editing” and “full post-editing” in the translation vocabulary. Review is carried out with the help of a post-editor. Based on content nuance such as intent and tone, they suggest terminological corrections and possible adjustments to automatic translation. Like this, professional output can be ensured at all times. During revision, a second translator is added to the process. They implement the suggested revisions, may make additional stylistic adjustments and ensures the best possible quality of the translation. Furthermore, both steps include QA-checks on grammar, spelling and localization of number formats.
SDL SLATE ensures that jobs up to 10,000 words are processed within 48 hours. For larger volumes however, only automatic translation without review/revision is currently available. But if you want to have very large jobs post-edited, just split your content into several individual jobs. Non-post-edited MT on the other hand is usually returned within a few seconds (free text) or minutes (automatic document translation).
Packages – at a glance
The service is aimed primarily at companies and offers a trial version as well as two price plans to choose from. The one-month trial version allows the automatic translation of 10 documents and one document each in the post-edited versions. Other price plans available are the Starter and Pro version, that offer larger volumes for non-edited MT output. Reviewed and revised jobs can also be requested twice a month with a speed boost (“Rush” option).
In case the volumes included in the specific price plans are not sufficient for your individual needs, the service can be adapted to individual volume requirements. Moreover, a monthly change of the active price plan is no problem at all. So even if your translation requirements fluctuate, there is always the right solution for you.
Languages and functions
SDL SLATE is built on SDL Language Cloud and offers translations into and from English for a specific range of languages pairs. Some of these are exclusively intended for automatic translation without review or revision. Want to know which ones? Just check the well-structured language overview.
After uploading (all common formats such as MS Office, PDF, InDesign, XLIFF are supported), SDL SLATE automatically analyzes the source language. The user then only needs to provide information on the desired target language, the purpose of the translation and the type of content. This information is used exclusively for statistical evaluation and has no influence on the processing of the translation orders.
After analyzing the document content, SDL SLATE lists the available translation services for your order and the corresponding delivery date.
Everything to your liking? After selecting the service level, SDL SLATE displays the remaining number of each type of translation that can still be performed according to the selected price plan.
If everything is correct and after you have confirmed the order, an official confirmation notification will appear in the job overview. There, you can see all your other jobs as well. Then, once the document has been translated, the file will be available for you via download. In our example, SDL SLATE has converted our PDF-file into a Word-file.
In order to optimize future translations, SDL SLATE stores the translation requests and the resulting MT output in one secure translation memory per customer. This enables the retrieval of already translated content and thus a faster processing of the translation order.
And what about GDPR?
SDL SLATE processes the incoming texts and MT outputs in compliance with GDPR. Nonetheless, if you do not want to send personal data into the wide world of the cloud, you should anonymize your data before Translation. Something we can certainly help you with as well! 😀
SDL SLATE is still quite a young and new service. So we are quite curious how customers will embrace SDL SLATE and what functions it will provide in the future. You have individual customer requirements such as integration of existing customer MT and translation memories, additional language combinations, etc.? Feel free to contact the SDL SLATE-experts. They are happy to assist you. Those interested are encouraged to get in touch using the options presented on this page: SDL SLATE – Smart language translation for the enterprise.
Are you wondering how you personally can benefit from machine translation and translation automation? Or you would like to know how you can optimally integrate machine translation into your processes? Do you have large data volumes to prepare, clean or align for machine translation training? Or do you need more data? Please contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org). Our machine translation experts are happy to help and get the best out of state-of-the-art translation software for you.