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Machine Translation Service

MT@EC visual  - © European Commission

MT@EC

When is this action of interest to you?

You receive a question or a request in an official EU language you do not understand, and you need to see if it is relevant for you and who you could forward it to for further action. The European Commission machine translation service allows you to quickly check the general meaning of incoming information and fall back on human translation when you need high quality translation.

What is this action about?

Documents used by the European Commission, other European Institutions and public administrations in the multilingual environment of the European Union need to be available in different national languages. The sheer volume of content makes this an impossible task to achieve using human translators alone.

The European Commission provided a machine translation service for a number of years, based on "rule-based" Machine Translation technology. The service delivered a certain level of automated "raw machine translation" quality for a small number of language pairs.

In the past few years, however, machine translation technology has shifted towards Statistical Machine Translation (SMT), which opens new opportunities, given its quality, time-to-market and development costs.

With MT@EC, the Commission has now launched a new system based on SMT that provides an improved machine translation service in terms both of quality of output and number of supported languages. A total of 552 language pairs covering all of the EU official languages are currently provided. The service run by the Commission guarantees continuity and quality of service, as well as respect of confidentiality and other legal aspects related to trust in information exchange.

What is the main objective?

  • operation of a common Statistical Machine Translation service, MT@EC, offered by the European Commission and used by European and national public administrations.

What are the benefits?

Benefit
  • Increasing speed so the receiving administration quickly understands the information without having to wait for a translation and "routes" it to the right person/department.
Beneficiaries
  • European Commission Services
  • Member States' public administrations
Benefit
  • Reducing cost since human translators in the receiving administration will only receive requests to translate the specific pages of an incoming document deemed important.
Beneficiaries
  • European Commission Services
  • Member States' public administrations
Benefit
  • Enabling asynchronous machine translation of working documents, letters, e-mails, etc.
Beneficiaries
  • Member States' public administrations
  • European Commission Services
Benefit
  • Facilitating easier information exchange within and between interest groups, between judicial collaborators etc., based on their expertise and not on the knowledge of the working language(s) of the group.
Beneficiaries
  • Member States' public administrations

What are the next steps ?

MT@EC has been operational since June 2013 and is currently being used by EU institutions and bodies. It is also available in European online services such as IMI, SOLVIT, and nLex.

Public administrations in the EU Member States and EEA countries can also access the tool.

MT@EC is the starting point for a machine translation service that will be offered through CEF.AT, the new Automated Translation platform deployed with funding by the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). This platform is one of the core building blocks of the CEF ecosystem of Digital Service Infrastructures, as it enables multilingualism in European public services.

Contact the Programme Manager - ISA Action 20800

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