Welcome to the Olanto Foundation

What are Olanto’s Goals

The initial goal of Olanto Foundation is to build and share a complete suite of professional CAT tools which should include at least:

  • a Concordancer (Bitext-based search engine);
  • a Statistical Machine Translation Tool;
  • a Terminology Database Management System;
  • an expression explorer within parallel corpora;
  • a Translation Memory Management System.

However Olanto also plans to integrate this CAT Suite with one or several Electronic Document Management Systems (EDMS) and to create other tools, in particular a cross-lingual search engine (you search in English, the tool retrieves hit documents in other languages and translates them back into English) which may be associated with other existing search tools (typically Lucene or Google).

Although a number of open source tools are currently available in the CAT field, they are not integrated in a complete set and thus do not meet the complete chain of needs commonly expressed by Translation Services and Language Service Providers. Additionnally, they generally don’t benefit from a robust distribution and support structure and some of them are not really scalable. Olanto was created in order to fill up that gap.

Why Do We Need a Complete Suite of Open-Source CAT Tools?

The translation business has considerably changed over the past decade. Larger volumes must be translated by smaller full-time teams, the difference being distributed over a network of external translators which are located worldwide. Besides, deadlines are ever tighter and costs must be reduced.

As a result, the complete translation workflow must be transformed in order to automate every possible step and thus to accelerate the processes and reduce the cost at each step: submitting a document for translation, affecting the translation to a translator, performing the translation, performing the quality control steps, sending back the translation to the customer and feeding the CAT tools with the new document pair and/or related segments. This generally requires adding a new step upfront, which is a pre-translation process.

A complete suite of CAT tools is needed to support every phase of this new workflow. Such a suite should be integrated so as to ensure the interoperability of the various tools, a seamless transition between each step, and a smooth interfacing with the customer’s IT environment. It should be distributed as free software so as to get rid of the license costs (which prevent customers from extending the tool to all their external translators) and to ensure a better quality and transparency of the code.

Why Do We Need Cross-Lingual Tools ?

The language barrier is one of the main issues in developing an international business. It is of the utmost importance to carefully control your communication in foreign languages, both for legal and marketing reasons.

Additionally, the English proportion of the Internet content is steadily reducing, while languages such as Spanish, Russian and Chinese are growing fast. If you keep searching in English only you are guaranteed to miss a growing number of key documents.

Olanto is meant to provide open-source tools to face these new challenges