MODELA is the result of a research project carried out in 2016-2017. The research was funded through the ELKARTEK programme managed by the Government of the Basque Country and SPRI. The following companies have also participated in the project:
The main objective was to investigate advanced techniques in automatic translation for the Basque and Spanish language pair. The research focused on creating high quality automatic translation systems combining Deep Learning techniques with statistical systems, and, during the experiments it became clear that the quality of neural network based systems was far superior to that of the current systems; including the Basque and Spanish language pair.
Based on the excellent results of the project, ISEA and MondragonLingua, together with Elhuyar, decided to launch a new automatic translation service that is accessible through the portal www.modela.eus. It is an automatic translation service from Basque based on neural networks. MODELA allows texts and documents in various formats to be translated, while maintaining the confidentiality of the data. Firstly, MODELA facilitates an increase in the productivity of the translators. In this sense, it does not replace the professional translator, but rather assists in the creation of more content in Basque. In addition, the quality of the translations will also have an influence on the people and entities that want to use the Basque language, as the day-to-day communications (internal communications in companies, blogs, etc) can be channelled exclusively in Basque.
MODELA will help increase the written use of Basque in institutions and normalise the use of Basque as there will be a quality tool for communicating in Basque.
In its first year, more than 100,000 people accessed the service, translating more than 20 million words. MODELA represents a qualitative leap in the quality of Basque translation systems and is an excellent starting point for the development of linguistic technologies through the development of applications such as virtual assistants, text analysis, etc. These applications will have a great impact in strategic sectors such as health, public administration, advanced manufacturing and audiovisual.