It’s clear that businesses, today, have to make the most of technology to stay in the race. Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and other such technology allow businesses to gain a competitive edge in a crowded marketplace. Thanks to globalization, translation is one area that’s recently been given the AI treatment.
So, how does AI actually aid translation? Well, that’s what we are here to find out.
It’s Called Machine Translation
AI-aided translation is called machine translation. What it does is that it converts text in the source language to text in the output language. There exist a range of machine translation programs that businesses can use for their translation needs.
However, the two most common happen to be SMT-based i.e. Statistical Machine Translation and RBMT-based i.e. Rule-Based Machine Translation.
The latter operates on the idea that language is all about syntactic and grammatical rules. So, in order to work, these programs refer to bilingual dictionaries for the specified languages. These dictionaries are composed of linguistic rules that apply to the sentence structures in each of the specified languages. Then, there are rules to help the program link the sentence structures of each language.
However, the process is time-consuming as new requirements have to be met each time a new language is paired with the source language. Even so, RMBT is effective when it comes to pairing languages with very different word orders, such as English to Chinese.
On the other hand, SMT works on the concept of probabilities. Google Translator is an example of this. What the tool does it refers to a set of target segments and chooses the most probable segments as a match to the source segment. To put it simply, Google Translator translates by looking at the highest statistical probability.
SMT works better than RMBT because it can accommodate a wide-range of languages. It does not depend on an extensive list of resources to get the job done.
So, that’s how AI-translation works.
The Future of AI Translation
Machine translation will definitely evolve as time goes by. However, human translation is still very relevant as context plays a major role in effective translation. This is completely dependent on human involvement.
For instance, colloquialism is something that machines still cannot figure out. So, machine translation is still primarily a tool aimed at simplifying the process, rather than taking it over.
Have you tried interpreting between two different languages for others? If you haven’t, what do you think of becoming an interpreter? Watch a video by TED-Ed and it will answer you!