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LTC - Language Technology Centre Ltd

5-7 Kingston Hill
Kingston upon Thames
Surrey
United Kingdom
KT2 7PW
Phone: +44 20 8549 2359
Fax: +44 20 8974 6994

website: www.langtech.co.uk

Profile
LTC is a translation/localisation service company based in Kingston, UK. The company was formed in 1992 and has currently 35 employees and a subsidiary in Washington DC. LTC operates in three areas: Product development (LTC Organiser, the first business process management system for the language industry and LTC Communicator, a web based multilingual help desk system,), services (Translation, software localisation, language training) and consultancy (both product and service related). LTC carries out interpretation and localisation services, online help, user and training manuals for numerous prestigious clients such as Aspect Telecommunications, Open Text, SABA, Black&Decker, Deutsche Telekom, Deutsche Post. For these clients, LTC also provides computer-assisted translation services (marketing material, presentations, contracts and agreements and many other kinds of documents). In addition, LTC holds several framework contracts for translation services to the European Commission and the European Parliament, Deutsche Telekom, E.ON UK, Deutsche Post and many more. On the consultancy side, LTC advises clients on implementation and customisation issues regarding LTC products and on optimising service related business processes in terms of multilingual production. LTC also provides training in person and via the web. LTC has experience in project management and in performing CEC funded projects. LTC actively researches latest developments in software and language engineering and is a pioneer in developing pro-active software solutions for and within the language industry.

LTC's highlights are:
  • many satisfied customers throughout the world
  • successful exploitation of European projects
  • Superior rating in recent Dun and Bradstreet report

Short profiles of staff
Dr. Adriane Rinsche is LTC's Managing Director with a PhD in Computational Linguistics from Bonn University. Long term consultancy and project management experience in language engineering and software localisation in collaboration with many blue chip companies, international organisations and European Institutions. Dr. Rinsche manages all international activities and published a number of papers, focussing on the needs of the language industry and pioneering LTC software developments.

Philippe Nozay is LTC's Technical Director. He is a software design specialist, LTC's Chief developer with thorought experience in software localisation, design of localisation tools and ASP implementation. He co-ordinates international software research and strategic development projects at LTC. Before he joined LTC he completed a postgraduate degree in Computer Science from IRESTE, Nantes University.

Scope of the Language Technology Centre
As a language service provider company, LTC needs to be able to offer not only a large number of language combinations, but also technical terminology support in different subject matters. Each knowledge worker at LTC combines diverse levels of expertise regarding his/her ability to master the linguistic challenge of each translation project. It is also necessary to tackle the contextual characteristics of each document (i.e. specific terminology of each subject matter and style of text). Each translation procedure is an extremely knowledge intensive task, which requires the ad hoc collaboration of many knowledge workers (translators), to share and combine their knowledge for the textís linguistic and contextual optimisation. In this view, project teams are formed in an ad hoc manner according to each incoming client request (e.g. language of the original document and language to be translated into, contextual and terminology concept, style of the document, etc) and with regard to each translator's expertise and availability. That structure requires any software platform to be very flexible.

While there are five managers in total for the incoming clients' requests, translators interact in many-to-many relationships and collaborate simultaneously in different groups and in a variety of projects. Once a translation project is completed and the customer is satisfied with the result, each “virtual translation group” pulls apart and individual knowledge workers participate in other formations for new translation projects. Therefore the knowledge created during the group collaboration is lost or at least distributed in small units at unknown places. The Language Technology Centre uses a web-based management system that is able to optimise all business processes relating to multilinguality. However, since the majority of translation projects concern documents with a variety of terms from different subject areas, users dissipate valuable time. Additionally, the many freelance knowledge workers collaborating with the company's in-house staff use desktop word processors (i.e. MS Word) in order to perform the actual translations and store the different versions of the translated documents in their PCs during the translation process. While there is a file server in the company where employees are supposed to store all documents during the translation process, external translators are reluctant to upload their files regularly to the central LTC server because of constantly incoming translation projects. In this respect, even this extra effort acts as a hindrance to the centralised storage of the documents. Finally, during the collaborative translation procedure, employees upload their original and translated texts. Extra effort is required to integrate all contributions into one coherent document.