Shipyard Translator

Project report

Objective:A statistical translation system for a ship repair yard
Year deployed:2012

Shipyard Translator enables instant translation of specialist offers for ship repairs between English and Polish.

The system was developed using the technique of statistical translation. Using existing translations supplied by the client, we created a system that enables the translation of an enquiry concerning ship repairs from English into Polish as soon as it is received. Shipyard technicians can thus make an immediate valuation of the required repairs and send a corresponding offer back to the customer. Such instant reaction to customer needs translates into larger numbers of orders won.

The problem

Technicians at the ship repair yard would make valuations of repairs based on a specification written in Polish, whereas enquiries about repairs (RFPs) were usually received in English. The yard used the services of a specialist translation agency, which would supply a translation of an RFP within two or three days. The length of the delay would often lead to the order being lost. Also, due to unforeseen absence or rotation of translators, the quality of the translations was not always consistent. Moreover, since enquiries tended to be sent to many yards simultaneously, only a small percentage of offers eventually resulted in orders. Specialist translation thus produced significant additional costs in the process of making offers, and did not contribute directly to the generation of profits.

The solution

Using documents supplied by the shipyard (offers previously translated by outside translation agencies) and texts relating to shipbuilding and ship repairs which we searched for and carefully selected, we trained a statistical system for automatic translation. This was embedded in an environment enabling the verification and correction of translations supplied automatically by the system. The solution led to improvement in the translation quality and in the precision of the terminology used in offers. Following the deployment of our solution, documents were translated without significant delay, and text editing costs (only verification instead of translation from scratch) fell by 70%. The elimination of dependence on an outside service provider made the whole process faster and simpler, and enabled the supply of instantly prepared, correctly translated RFPs.


  • faster translation, leading to increased chances of winning contracts
  • a significant increase in the number of ship repair orders won
  • lower translation costs
  • improved translation quality

If you want to speed up and simplify your handling of foreign-language documents, and improve the circulation of documentation drawn up in different languages, get in touch with us. Let’s talk about your needs!

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Technology used

  • Moses
  • Java
  • CakePHP
  • MySQL
  • Bootstrap
  • CSS
  • Javascript
Neural Machine Translation System Our Translator