Alan Melby is Professor Emeritus of general linguistics at Brigham Young University and president of LTAC Global, a small non-profit dedicated to promoting the development and use of standards in the translation industry. He began working on a machine translation project in 1970. He is an ATA-certified French-to-English translator.
In 2014 he was elected to the FIT Council, the governing body of the International Federation of Translators.
QT21: a new era for translators and the computer
The analytic evaluation of raw machine translation in QT21 will use a revised version of the MQM framework, which was developed during the QT-Launchpad project. The revision consists of harmonization with DQF from TAUS.
MQM is a framework for creating customized translation quality metrics from a standard hierarchy of error categories. Each metric is based on a set of structured translation specifications. The emphasis of MQM is on analytic metrics, but its error category hierarchy also supports holistic metrics. Multiple metrics can be combined in a commercial evaluation procedure. For example, holistic evaluations of accuracy and fluency and be used to decide whether to conduct an analytic evaluation of a given translation.
It is important to emphasize that MQM is not a metric. It is a framework for creating metrics. A fundamental assumption of MQM is that no one translation quality metric can possibly be suitable for all translation projects. This is because MQM has adopted broad definitions of translation and translation quality. Please see the debate about broad vs. narrow definitions in the trilogy of articles by Koby, Hague, Fields, Lommel, and Melby in the current issue of Tradumàtica (http://revistes.uab.cat/tradumatica/issue/archive see 2014).
Details about MQM are available at: www.qt21.eu/mqm-definition .
DQF is also a framework for translation quality evaluation. It was developed in parallel with MQM by TAUS. Details about DQF are available at: https://evaluate.taus.net/ .