What is Machine Translation?

April 28, 2023
David Sunnyside

Machine translation

Machine translation (MT) is the process of translating texts between languages through computerized means, offering faster and cheaper alternatives to human translation services. MT can be used for international documentation, customer support articles, FAQs or any other form of content creation such as global documentation or support articles.

At first glance, machine translation (MT) may appear accurate; however, it does not take into account cultural differences, will fail to detect idioms and puns and may produce inaccurate translations for highly technical texts.

If you need to use machine translation on legal documents or texts that require specialization, neural-based translation engines that have been trained specifically for that domain may produce more accurate results. This will increase their precision.

Neural Machine Translation systems tend to make more mistakes than their statistical counterparts, which necessitates additional review and correction by humans for quality assurance purposes. These corrections could range from light post-editing to more extensive post-editing, depending on your project requirements.

Adaptive machine translation (MT) has gained increasing popularity over recent years, as it enables machines to learn from post-editor corrections in real time and incorporate these changes into their translation memory for future reference.

Decisions on whether or not to utilize machine translation depend on your unique needs and the language being translated in. When translated for high-visibility/high-priority content, MT can be an excellent way to reduce costs without compromising accuracy or quality. Furthermore, initial drafts produced with machine translation can then be reviewed by human translators before their review process takes place.

David Sunnyside
Co-founder of Urban Splatter • Digital Marketer • Engineer • Meditator
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