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eTranslation Services

Machine translation

About the service

The eTranslation service provides the ability to translate formatted documents and plain text between any pair of EU official languages, as well as Icelandic and Norwegian (Bokmål), while preserving to the greatest extent possible the structure and format of those documents.

CEF eTranslation builds on the European Commission’s earlier machine translation service, MT@EC, which was developed by the Directorate-General for Translation (DGT) under the Interoperability Solutions for European Public Administrations (ISA) programme.  It was based on MOSES open-source translation toolkit, a Statistical Machine Translation (SMT) system developed with co-funding from EU research and innovation programmes, while eTranslation is following the field’s move into neural machine translation.

Both systems are trained using the vast Euramis translation memories, comprising over 1 billion sentences in the 24 official EU languages produced by the translators of the EU institutions over the past decades. As such, they are particularly suited for the needs of EU policy documents.

CEF eTranslation carries on the MT@EC functionalities and scales-up the existing infrastructure by improving quality and performance and increasing the pool of available language resources.

Learn more about  how it works

eTranslation can be used in two distinct ways

1. One-off translations

eTranslation provides a web user interface for direct use by individuals (human-to-machine use).


2. Integrated translation functionality

In this case, eTranslation provides machine translation capabilities for web content and digital services through an Application Programming Interface (API) for machine-to-machine use.


Benefits of the service

For public administrations and cross-border EU projects that have integrated CEF eTranslation into their digital service(s):

  • Widens the potential customer base of the service by lowering language barriers
  • Improves the customer experience by giving end users the freedom to interact in the language of their choosing
  • Increases the speed with which documents are handled
  • Lowers costs by reducing reliance on human translation

For officials working for EU institutions or public administrations in an EU country, Iceland or Norway using CEF eTranslation service:

  • Reduces the burden of routine translation and enables to focus on very specific and important sections of documents
  • Increases the speed with which incoming documents can be translated, understood and routed when necessary
  • Facilitates information exchange between parties based on their expertise, rather than on the knowledge of the working language(s) of the group
  • Available free of charge until at least the end of 2020

For European citizens and businesses

  • Gives confidence to benefit from a wider range of digital public services in Europe, regardless of their language abilities

Documentation