News and science communications manager at imec, Hanne Degans, says: “Imec is a world leader in R&D in nanoelectronics and digital technologies, from advanced semiconductor technology and artificial intelligence to smart healthcare technology, sustainable energy and mobility, and smart cities.”

COVID-19: imec to the rescue!

Hanne elaborates, “For instance, we are working non-stop to develop a high-quality rapid COVID-19 test that can analyse virus particles in exhaled air, like a breathalyser. Our test can analyse genetic material such as mRNA the same way a nose-throat swab does, except no laboratory is needed. This makes it perfect for airports, where we want to test the prototype. From there, we can fine-tune the basic technology to test for other airborne diseases.”

The content coefficient: how content positions, attracts, illustrates and engages

Hanne continues, “Imec publishes all kinds of content. We engage in marketing communications via our website, brochures, newsletters, social media, webinars and other events, and via press releases in the media. These channels allow us to publicise activities and projects, attract partners and introduce imec to the general public. Alongside this is scientific communication, with which we position imec within the market. We publish opinion pieces and specialised articles in the trade press, and write White Papers on specific subjects. Active communication with the general public is something we value, which is illustrated by our recent collaboration with Eos magazine for an imec special edition. Last but not least, we also use content in HR communication, in order to attract strong thinkers and doers.”

A good scientific translation should be both technically correct and roll off the tongue

Hanne explains, “Technical articles for academic and industrial partners must be both relevant and substantiated, and this also applies to our translations. We expect them to feel natural and be technically and factually correct, but without being too literal. Of course, our trust in the translator is at the heart of this. Most of our translation work focuses on Dutch to English and vice-versa, but translations into German, French, Chinese, Japanese and Hebrew are not uncommon. When it comes to foreign languages, we have to be able to rely on the skill of native translators. Relatable writing is a must in broader communication with the public and, as such, we expect a translation that reads as smoothly as the source text.”

AI in the translation sector: the acrid aftertaste is in the eating

As a research institute, imec already has a great deal of expertise in deploying artificial intelligence in different fields. The translation sector is no stranger to AI, with translation bots such as Deepl being deployed more and more often to translate large chunks of text quickly and cheaply. When imec wanted a 35,000-word executive summary translated as soon as possible, Blue Lines decided to put it to the test. We ended up with an incoherent mess that required an endless amount of tweaking in order to make it intelligible. We concluded that general translation engines are not cut out for specialised documents, a fact we always convey to our clients.

Hanne adds, “That’s not necessarily a criticism. We knew machine translation was a bit of a gamble, and your project managers did advise us against it, to make sure we wouldn’t get our hopes up too high. The result wasn’t even comparable to the translations we are used to, which are produced by two specialised native speakers. We are very pleased with your quality and service: fast replies to emails, punctual deliveries and high-quality translations. Here’s to 10 years’ collaboration!”

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