Unique English Language Software for Academic Writing Created at SUSU

SUSU’s Linguo-innovative Technologies Research and Education Center (LiNT REC) was established in 2012. Since then the employees of the Research and Education Center fulfilled several unique projects, including AutoLex, InterAct and AutoTutor software programs.

The research activity of scientists in our country is being assessed more and more often with consideration to the number of their publications in international scientific journals indexed in Scopus and Web of Science databases, and that means the necessity to write articles in English. To solve this task, the authors normally use the help of translators, or try to face the difficulties of translation on their own. Meanwhile, both translators and authors often use online automatic translation systems, which are far from being perfect. In this context auxiliary resources need to be created, which could be used as support tools for academic writing in English. The head of the projects, Director of Linguo-innovative Technologies REC, Professor Svetlana Sheremetieva shares on the possibilities of the developed software.

“When performing technical translation, the main problem is that specialists while in command of the terminology do not always know English at the required level. And vice versa, translators fluent in the language do not have expert knowledge in the subject field. The software complex that we developed is intended to resolve the abovementioned problems, and as experience shows, it is successfully used by our employees, postgraduates and students of technical specialities, and makes the translators’ work significantly more efficient.”

What Are the Advantages of the Developed Software?

AutoLex system is an electronic lexicographic resource, unique for the fact that it comprises modern Russian-English equivalents of one- and many-component terms (up to 10 components). The program may be operated in two modes: translating separate terms and phrases, or processing whole texts.

InterAct system is a software product for automated translation of scientific-and-engineering articles, including for creating of summaries and abstracts. The peculiarity and advantage of this program is an interactive medium for pre-editing of Russian text to better the quality of its translation. The program allows to upload a long text, makes it interactive, automatically marks terms and suggests templates, using which the author may amend the text in Russian. As a result Russian sentences are automatically generated, which do not contain syntactic structures that might pose a problem during translation. At the final stage of processing the text InterAct automatically translates it into English. This product was developed for the subject field of mathematical modeling.

The System Interviews Scientists

The recent development by LiNT REC is an interactive computer training program AutoTutor with an in-built module of automatic translation of Russian phrases. It is intended for training the authors on the informational structure of an article and English syntax by means of a computer “interview”. AutoTutor leads the author through all the required stages of writing an article (title, abstract, review of works, sections on the subject, conclusion), assuring that the article features all the necessary information. At each stage of article writing the author can make use linguistic support in the form of a menu of English verbs, language clichés, templates of English sentences, and automatic translation of Russian phrases into English. The author learns how to properly build an English sentence while s/he is filling the templates of sentences with English terms and other phrases and further receiving automatically generated English sentences with correct grammar.

High efficiency of the software tools complex developed by LiNT REC is ensured due to the fact that each program is adjusted to a certain subject field of research held at SUSU (mechanical engineering, optoinformatics, mathematical modeling, integrative physiology, etc). In the nearest future the scientists are planning on creating similar tools for other subject fields, as well as commercializing the software products. Already now university academicians are greatly interested in the created electronic resources.

Viktoria Matveichuk, photo by the author
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