Machine translation (MT) can be defined as a sub-category of computational linguistics focused on the use of software for translation of text or voice from one language into another.
Well-known and established MT software applications are Google Translate, Microsoft Translate, IBM Watson and Amazon.
From a simplified perspective, MT provides for a word-by-word translation from one language to another. Having said that, it is no surprise that MT has been often associated in the past with rather low-quality translations since a word-by-word translation likely does not produce a good output since it does not reflect on the word’s context. Aspects such as seeking for the context-based, closest word counterparts and recognising whole phrases is still under research and subject to neural techniques research.
Given such considerations, MT is as of today often used for very specific domains only to ensure output meets the expectation of professional standards. In turn, MT is predominately used in conjunction with human translation techniques and acts as a catalyst for translation process improvements.
Nevertheless, the long-term potential behind MT is still significant. Looking at the example of the US-based online marketplace eBay, it has been proven that the application of a smart, domain-specific MT software could drive platform activities through in-time localisation of content. This proves that MT is a highly effective and highly scalable tool to make localisation instantly available and affordable.
As outlined above, the immediate potential of MT lies in streamlining existing translation processes. Think of a tool who automatically comes up with translation propositions, wouldn’t that be a nice feature? In this respect, the direct integration of MT software into computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools is a very powerful way to achieve such process improvements. Through the CAT tool the human translator gets guided through its translation process and receives valuable translation propositions from the MT at the right time.
How can Rian help?
Rian is a user-friendly computer-assisted translation (CAT) tool and translation management system (TMS), created by translators for translators – allowing them to focus, not on routine tasks, but on human touch. It integrates with well-established MT software applications such as Google Translate, Microsoft Translate, IBM Watson, Amazon at no extra costs.
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