3 benefits of the RAE and Microsoft alliance for the translation industry

RAE Agreement

Technology can be a great ally when it comes to helping us express ourselves with linguistic correctness during the use of the Internet and computer programs. Thanks to advances in the use of Artificial Intelligence models, it is even possible to create content automatically.

Large technology companies such as Microsoft are already working on this. However, in order to be able to learn and to be able to proofread texts with grammatical errors or to to develop systems that can generate content with absolute correctnessin order to achieve this, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning models need to use large amounts of information, databases that allow them to constantly improve their processes.

The agreement recently signed by the Royal Spanish Academy of Language (RAE) and Microsoft is part of this need to nurture Artificial Intelligence with quality content. This is a vitally important agreement, which will allow the Machine Learning models of Microsoft applications to access the RAE’s databases in order to advance in their development, and which will also mean that the RAE will have access to the RAE’s databases important benefits for the translation industry.

what does the agreement consist of? Under the agreement, the Real Academia Española de la Lengua will provide Microsoft with access to the Diccionario de la Lengua Española so that it can use it in its main applications. This will mean that Microsoft will be able to use the more than 375,000 datasets in Microsoft 365 and its Office applications, the Bing search engine, embedded systems and other services.

In addition, the agreement also provides for the annual revision of the files, so that Microsoft’s tools can use the 1,000 to 2,000 new entries that each year the RAE includes in the Diccionario de la Lengua Española. Thus, the database will be renewed annually to continue training the Artificial Intelligence to incorporate the new words and expressions accepted by the RAE.

what does this agreement mean, and why can it be said that it will bring about a revolution in the Translation Industry? In this article we will show you the benefits of this agreement, opinions of references such as a translation agency and the director of the RAE, and much more.

Boost the correct use of Spanish on the Internet and digital environments

Every day, billions of people use word processors, e-mail programs and many other online tools to express themselves and communicate with family, friends, co-workers, clients… There are more than 600 million people around the world who use Spanish in its different varieties, using expressions and words in different contexts and, sometimes, with different meanings.

Having the possibility of using popular tools such as Microsoft Office (which includes Word, Excel, Powerpoint), Microsoft 365, the Bing search engine and the rest of the applications of the Redmond company, which thanks to the agreement signed will use the databases of the Diccionario de la Lengua Española, will help them so that their contents are written with linguistic correctness, so that they can check if they include errors and even receive recommendations for better expression on the Internet.

In this sense, the agreement between the Real Academia Española de la Lengua and Microsoft will allow to work for the unity of the languageby reinforcing its proper use among all users of Microsoft tools.

Improving the skills of Artificial Intelligence and enabling its development

The agreement signed by the Real Academia Española de la Lengua and Microsoft will enable the natural language recognition abilities of all Microsoft solutions to be considerably improved. By accessing the databases of the Diccionario de la Lengua Española, it will be possible to offer users recommendations when drafting their texts, display suggestions of synonymous and antonymous words, correct grammatically written texts, warn of errors made..

The use of all this information will make it possible to introduce substantial improvements in all products oriented to spell checking or grammar correction in the market. In the same way, machine translation models will be created using Artificial Intelligence systems from which the entire translation industry will be able to benefit and which will take into account the different peculiarities and uses of Spanish.

Spanish variations in Latin America

As we pointed out, it is a language used by more than 600 million people worldwide, and it presents great differences in use in Spain and Latin American countries. Thanks to the use of the information provided by the RAE, it will be possible to train Artificial Intelligences to improve natural language recognition. This will allow the development of better translation and spell checking applications.

The opinion of referents and translation agency

Santiago Muñoz Machado, director of the Royal Spanish Academy and president of the Association of Spanish Language Academies, says: “Our goal is that machines, and all digital tools, use correct Spanish. From the 18th century onwards, the RAE managed to ensure that its rules were followed and that the same orthographic, grammatical and lexical uses of our language were harmonized and generalized. In the 19th and 20th centuries it managed to maintain its unity, and now in the 21st century the Academy wants to regulate the language of machines, of Artificial Intelligence, to continue a task that has been successfully carried out for more than 300 years”.

Meanwhile, one of the referents of the translation industry, Ofer Tirosh, CEO of the international translation agency Tomedes, points out in this sense that the feeding of natural language processes and the training of Artificial Intelligences through the use of information from the Diccionario de la Lengua Española will help to avoid biases in the language and the correct use of Spanish, unifying its use. “It will be a breakthrough for the development of translation and speech generation applicationsthe machines will thus be able to be trained to take into account not only the normative Spanish of Spain, but also the linguistic realities of other countries, and to adapt Spanish to each context and circumstance,” he says. The machines can thus be trained to take into account not only the normative Spanish of Spain, but also the linguistic realities of other countries and of more than 600 million people.

what is the LEIA project?

The agreement signed between the RAE and Microsoft is part of the LEIA project (acronym for Lengua Española e Inteligencia Artificial), an initiative conceived and led by the Royal Spanish Academy and supported by the Association of Spanish Language Academies (ASALE) for normativize the proper use of our language in machines and take advantage of AI to create tools that promote the correct use of Spanish in humans.

In this sense, the Diccionario de la Lengua Española database will be applied transversally to Microsoft’s current tools and the company’s possible future developments. But it will also be applied to the Artificial Intelligence training models that power the operation of its services, which will benefit the entire translation industry.

Among the main objectives of the LEIA project is to enable spanish to be available as a language of use in technological products and this is the context for the signing of the agreement between the RAE and Microsoft.

So, why is this agreement important?

In addition to the benefits outlined above, it is worth noting that the signing of this strategic alliance between the RAE and Microsoft will be a definite boost for the entire Spanish translation industry. The opinions of linguistic industry referents such as the CEO of a translation agency, plus the powerful and endorsed statement of the director of the RAE show the repercussion of this new agreement.

Until now, most of the developments in terms of training the linguistic capabilities of Machine Learning systems were exclusively for the English language. Artificial Intelligences are highly trained to recognize language naturally and offer suggestions in English, but there is still a lot of work to be done for machines to speak perfect Spanish.

By using the Spanish Language Dictionary databases, Microsoft applications – and other tools used for linguistic translation and correction – will learn to employ Spanish appropriately, adjusting their usage to the context or geographic location of the user, and updating themselves with new information periodically, when the RAE adds new expressions and words to its dictionary.

This will also mean a considerable improvement in translation and transcription services, and will finally allow users to benefit in Spanish from the advances of Artificial Intelligence.

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