In the ever-evolving landscape of faith and technology, the mission to make spiritual content accessible to diverse communities worldwide takes on new dimensions. The annual Advent devotional is a cherished tradition for a renowned Christian media organization. Last year, they embarked on a journey to share this tradition with a global audience. We spoke with Maria Fennita, Christianity Today (CT) Indonesia Director, to discover how they used the spf.io Document Translation Portal (DTP) to realize their vision.
DTP Workflow & Translation Editor
Maria explains that the DTP Translation Workflow was instrumental throughout their translation efforts. It allowed them to seamlessly assign each devotional to different post-editors and receive real-time updates on their progress. This system ensured a collaborative approach, making the annual Advent devotional project a coordinated effort by their united global team.
CT Indonesia used DTP to translate its annual Advent devotional from English to Indonesian.
Central to this workflow is the DTP Translation Editor, which Maria emphasized for its intuitiveness. This tool empowers post-editors to make corrections effortlessly while maintaining alignment between sentence pairs.
Beyond its intuitive editing, DTP also provides a feature designed for precision. Maria highlights the DTP Retranslate feature, which allows post-editors to explore alternative translations for a particular line. This flexibility ensures that the final translation resonates with the readers.
DTP Translation Memory
One of the marvels of DTP that Maria and her team value is its Translation Memory. It remembers every correction made by post-editors. As a result, with each iteration, the translation becomes more accurate.
Once editors mark all lines as “Reviewed,” DTP then converts the sentence pairs into a training dataset for adapting Neural Machine Translation (NMT). Thus, DTP can produce high-quality translations and lay the foundation for further refinement using various machine-learning techniques.
The Challenge of Reverse Translation
While DTP excelled at translating from English to Indonesian, the reverse translation was more challenging. Spf.io then collaborated with a university in Indonesia, to translate sermons, bulletins, and articles from Indonesian to English. This collaboration resulted in a Machine Translation adapted to Indonesian Christian content.
Maria shares, “As we at CT Indonesia continue using spf.io, I see improvements in its AI. It’s getting much better every time we translate new content. So, there are words that used to be translated very rigidly. As we continuously use it, its AI has adapted very well, and the translated words are more familiar, much better, and used more commonly.”
One of the essays that was translated from Indonesian to English.
CT Indonesia also organized a series of Essay Contests to produce more Indonesian content. These contests generated essays that reflected the authors’ perspectives as Christians on issues arising during the pandemic in Indonesia. Topics of these essays included the influence of a Biblical figure’s story on one’s parenting, the impact of an Indonesian family drama on one’s recognition of God’s sovereignty, and more.
After translating these essays into English, native speakers worked to post-edit the English translations. Spf.io aims to transform these sentence pairs into an Indonesian-to-English training dataset to enhance its Machine Translation model. This effort showcases the team’s dedication to ensuring that DTP makes Indonesian-authored stories available in English at much higher speed and with increasing accuracy.
The Future Evolution of DTP
Engineers at spf.io are working on the next version of DTP. It will allow editors to import DOCX files, auto-translate, post-edit, and apply the original formatting to the translated document. This development aims to improve the translation process, ensuring accuracy and visual appeal in the final product.
As our conversation with Maria concludes, the spf.io Document Translation Portal emerges as more than just a tool—it’s a fusion of faith, technology, and global collaboration. With DTP, more content will overcome language barriers, touching readers worldwide. The messages from Christianity Today, no longer bound to a single language group, resonate worldwide as they continue sharing stories of the Global Church.
Stay tuned for more updates as DTP continues to empower faith communities and bridge the language gap, one translation at a time.