Machine translation is here to stay

Over the last few years, innovations through Artificial Intelligence have improved the quality of machine translations by a great deal. It is today a sector that is growing at an incredible speed and likely to change the role of the translator radically – especially for scientific and technological content. Machines will not replace the human translator. But I think that they will take over the main translation process and transform the linguist’s job to that of an editor and reviewer of quality control. As a result, aspiring translators will need to focus their skills on proofreading and editing.

What is post-editing machine translation (PEMT)?

PEMT is a translation method which involves the scrutinising, editing and correcting of high output machine- translated content by a professional linguist. It is crucial that the machine-translated material goes through post-editing to keep up with a reader-friendly style, optimal localisation and precise terminology. The content should at all times be compared with the source for accuracy.

PEMT lets you handle a high volume of work and is relatively cheap. Most importantly, however, it is known to offer a higher level of precision compared to methods of machine only translation.

It is a fact that MT has made things much more comfortable. It offers a higher degree of accuracy and allows for a quick turnaround. Furthermore, MT can analyse the stored data to predict outcomes and boost efficiency.

There are specific skills that machines do not have. We still need a human linguist to deal with the more nuanced facets of a translation. To this regard, several parameters cannot be neglected.

The Linguist

The translator’s role has seen many changes in the past, and this is going to continue as novel technologies emerge within the translation industry. Information Technology will always endeavour to make translations algorithms perfect until one hundred per cent accuracy is achieved in every aspect of the MT process.

This means that the industry will soon expand beyond traditional translation hires and look for people who are experts in post-editing, content development, content curation, market research, and analysis etc.

Also a fantastic opportunity

Technology is not the enemy. We merely have to understand that through adaptation we grow bigger and better. Us translators will have to update our skills that go beyond traditional translation. We need to embrace the world of creative writing, copywriting and turn into editors, content writers etc.

Let’s welcome AI and the new technologies with open arms, and acknowledge the fact that they will make processes more comfortable. If, however, we fail to grasp how technology must be leveraged, it will start to look like The Enemy.

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