Reverso Promt Tutorial, Level I


Other Reverso Promt tutorials: Other machine translation tutorials:
Reverso Promt Tutorial, Level II Online Machine Translation Exercise, Level I


(Generic description coming soon.)



I. Introduction

Reverso Promt, distributed by Softissimo (www.softissimo.com), is a machine translation system that appeared on the market relatively recently. It offers some interesting possibilities for processing semantic ambiguities, among other options.

You can learn more about Reverso Promt by consulting the help files, which describe its design and use.


II. Getting ready

  1. Save the files you will need for the exercises:
    1. Create a sub-directory of My Documents called Reverso Promt (or another name that you wish). (For instructions, see the file Creating a sub-directory.)
  2. Open Reverso Pro (PROMT-L).

III. Translating sentences with Reverso Promt

  1. From the Fichier menu, select Nouveau.
  2. In the dialogue box that appears, select Français-Anglais as your translation direction.
  3. From the drop-down list of domains (modèles thématiques) that are available, leave the default option Général, and then click the OK button.
  4. A window divided into two panes appears. (Be patient, as this may take a moment.) In the left-hand pane, paste the sentences below:

Le raton laveur adore les poissons rouges.

Quand elle a fait la connaissance de son futur mari, c'était le coup de foudre.

Ma belle-mère aime faire des casse-tête avec son petit-fils.

J’étais en train d’expliquer mon idée. Mais en cours de route, j’ai perdu le fil.

Le combattant brave la garde.

Cours, Forrest, cours !

Quand on parle aux petits, c’est le ton ferme qui compte.

Mon chat pèse douze livres et mesure trente-trois pouces.

Les étudiants boivent de la bière et les professeurs du café.

Le représentant qui m’a montré ce nouvel ordinateur est très beau. Il m’a convaincu qu’il pouvait satisfaire à tous mes besoins en informatique et j’ai dû l’acheter.

  1. In the list of dictionaries that appears at the bottom of the window, ensure that only Dictionnaire is selected.
  2. From the Traduction menu, select Traduire le texte entier. (See screenshot.) (See note.) The translation generated by Reverso appears in the right-hand pane.
  3. From the Fichier menu, choose the second Enregistrer option, and then Texte bilingue en tableau to save the original and translated versions (under the name yourname_Reverso_1, or another name that you wish) in the sub-directory of your computer that you created at the beginning of this tutorial. The texts will be saved as an RTF file, in table format, so that you can easily compare them. (You can also save the two texts separately if you wish.) Be patient, as this can take a moment.
  4. Look over and evaluate the translation produced in the Reverso Promt window or by opening the RTF file you saved.
    1. Do you see any translation problems that result from the types of challenges below?
    2. Which units are problematic, and why? Which of the following problems do you notice? Make a note of your answers. (If you wish, you can even add a column in your RTF table to enter them in.)
      1. Need for real-world/extralinguistic knowledge
      2. Delimitation of lexical and terminological units
      3. Part-of-speech ambiguity
      4. Semantic ambiguity
      5. Structural/syntactic ambiguity
  5. Do you see other cases where the same kind of error could have occurred, but where the translation is correct? Where?

IV. Looking at some techniques for processing semantic ambiguity

  1. Create a new translation project (Fichier> Nouveau). Choose Français-Anglais as your translation direction and use the modèle thématique Général. Paste the sentences below in the left-hand pane of the window:

Ces vêtements sont très chers.

Ces amis sont très chers.

On ne veut pas que le gouvernement se mêle dans ses affaires.

Consultez les fichiers d’aide pour plus de détails et les coordonnées du concepteur.

Je ne pense pas que ce logiciel marche bien.

Je dois vérifier les soldes de mes deux comptes bancaires.

Je vais acheter de nouveaux vêtements aux soldes.

  1. Translate these sentences (Traduction > Traduire le texte entier) and evaluate the result.
  2. Click on the Algorithmes de traduction button, which features a red exclamation mark and the side view of a person's face. (See screenshot.) This will display the translation settings that can be adjusted. As you click on each setting, a description is displayed at the bottom of the dialogue box.
    1. How can these settings help to deal with ambiguities and other issues in translation?
  3. Adjust the settings as necessary by choosing the option you want from the drop-down list that appears when you click the arrow beside each setting, and exit the dialogue box by clicking the OK button. Retranslate the text and evaluate any changes in the results.
  4. At various points in the texts some words appear underlined in blue, and symbols {*like this*} have been inserted in the target text. These indicate that the underlined word in the source text has more than one possible equivalent in the tool's dictionary. Reverso Promt has inserted the various possible equivalents in the target text, and uses these symbols to signal the user that the correct one must be chosen.
    1. Do you think this is a useful function? Why or why not? In what kinds of situations?
  5. Right-click on either the source or target text. From the contextual menu that appears, choose the Variantes de traduction option, and then Rechercher et remplacer les mots avec plusieurs traductions.
  6. In the dialogue box that appears, look at the suggestions the tool has proposed to translate the ambiguous words. Run through the list of words identified by clicking the Mot suivant button. (To return to the first sentence, you can click the Annuler button and return to this function from the contextual menu.)
  7. For the first identified unit, choose the most appropriate equivalent and select it in the list. Click the Remplacer button (or to replace all occurrences of this word with the same equivalent, the Remplacer tout button). Go through the other words and equivalents identified and make the appropriate choices. Once you have finished, click the Annuler button.
  8. Read through the translation again and identify the changes that were made. Are all of the difficulties with semantic ambiguities resolved?
  9. If you wish, save a copy of this translation.


V. Wrapping up

  1. Make a copy of your files as a backup or to transfer them to another computer.
    1. In My Computer or from the Start menu, find the sub-directory you created to store the files for this exercise.
    2. Make a compressed folder that contains this sub-directory. (For instructions, see the file Creating a compressed folder.
    3. Copy this compressed folder to a USB key, or if it is less than 2 MB, send a copy as an attachment to your e-mail.









NOTE: You can learn more about the use of thematic models (modèles thématiques) in the Reverso Promt Tutorial, Level II.



















Screenshot coming soon.


NOTE: You can also generate the translation by clicking on the purple-and-white icon that appears in one of the horizontal menus above the text panes, or by simultaneously holding down Ctrl and F9.





























Screenshot coming soon.







Screenshot coming soon.




VI. Questions for reflection

  • What are your first impressions of the functions and functioning of Reverso Promt?
  • What could Reverso Promt help you to do? In what kind of situation?
  • What criteria can be used to evaluate machine translation systems?
  • How does Reverso Promt compare to other machine translation systems you have tried? What function seems different from those available in other systems you have seen?
  • What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of using Reverso Promt to translate texts? Compared to a manual approach? Compared to using another tool?


Tutorial translated/adapted by Elizabeth Marshman. (2008-09-08)