The KantanMT API: Can You Translate Me Now?

Greg Bates, June 13th, 2013

The KantanMT’s REST-based API with JSON responses is designed to aid mid-sized local service providers (LSPs) in delivering KantanMT translation capabilities. KantanMT is a statistical machine translation platform (in contrast to a computer assisted translation service). The big advantage is speed: the service is available instantly, faster than you can say, “qu’est-ce que c’est?”

According to the press release, the key to the service is effortless high quality, two properties that rarely play well together:

“LSPs are using KantanMT.com as a platform to help optimize their localisation workflows and improve project turn-around times for their clients” said Tony O’Dowd, Founder and Chief Architect at KantanMT. “This enables them to combine existing localisation workflows with the power of KantanMT engines; improving their service offerings for their clients and helping them achieve higher levels of translation automation; a key competitive advantage for our members.”

Eric Chub, a senior software engineer at KantanMT, says that the the API opens up the capability to translate in amounts that are as small as select portions of a document. However, as he writes in a blogpost,

“Perhaps the biggest benefit of using the API is the scope for completely automating content translation. It is possible to prepare content for translation outside of KantanMT, submit hundreds or thousands of untranslated segments to the API, and perform post-processing on the translated content without any human interaction whatsoever.”

Requests can be eveloped with Java, JavaScript, .NET, C#, C++, VisualBasic, PHP and Perl. Clients can develop their own API clients as plugins for computer assisted translation (CAT) environments. These include Alchemy Catalyst or SDL Trados. However, an SDK is required from the third party vendor.

Unlike the claim in the graphic above, MT really is complex to the point of miraculous. But the company conveniently keeps that all behind the scenes. KantanMT is fluent in the one language that counts: simplicity. Using the product requires just three steps. First, you create a client profile. That means taking previous work–the original and a translation–and uploading it. Second, click a button to build the KantanMT engine based on those files, an engine that will be specific to that client. Third, upload the files that need to be translated and, Voila! You’re done.

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