Tilburg School of Humanities and Digital Sciences

Artificial Intelligence, Communication, Culture, Philosophy, Religion and Liberal Arts and Sciences

Three million euros to boost the quality of automatic translation

PRESS RELEASE 18 February 2015 - Tilburg Center for Cognition and Communication (TiCC) and its partners have won a European grant worth three million euros to develop IT pattern recognition systems for the improvement of automatic translation.

Press release, 18 February 2015

The aim of the project, which goes by the name of TraMOOC, is to develop high-quality systems for the automatic translation of various types of texts (e.g. blogs, presentations, subtitling of lectures) from English into German, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Bulgarian, Greek, Polish, Czech, Croatian, Russian and Chinese.

The grant has been awarded from the European Commission’s science subsidy fund Horizon2020, set up to promote research and innovation in Europe. Researcher Menno van Zaanen of Tilburg University School of Humanities explains: “The number of online courses - Massive Open Online Courses - is growing rapidly, but by and large these are only available in one language. Although machine translation already exists, the quality of these translations often leaves a lot to be desired. And for machine translation into certain languages, such as Italian, the quality can be lower still.”


Recognizing patterns such as word order and combining them with data from crowdsourcing can result in sample texts which are then translated into another language. Google Translate uses similar techniques, but TraMOOC makes use of specialized topics from the online courses, resulting in a higher quality of translated texts.

The researchers will use the grant to build the machine translation systems.

Note for the press

For further information, please contact Tineke Bennema at persvoorlichters@tilburguniversity.edu or call her on 06 19678521. Click here for more information about the TraMOOC project: http://www.ouslovenia.net/project/tramooc/