In just the last 5 to 10 years, machine translation has come on leaps and bounds and is now a reliable source of translation for many businesses. When you use automatic translation which is performed with the help of algorithms and learned knowledge programmed in, you can have a lot more content translated in a shorter period for a cheaper rate.
But is it useful for every kind of translation service? Let’s take a closer look.
What Is Automatic Translation?
You might be familiar with Google Translate which has become popular in recent years for basic machine translation to and from just about every major language spoken on the earth. You can get it in an app, or install it on your browser to give a rudimentary translation of websites you visit. This is one form of automatic translation which is simply taking learned behaviour from a computer program and translating it to the best of its ability.
This computer-assisted translation, also known as CAT, is able to provide a semi-accurate translation of lots of text, and a translation management system (TMS) can be used to organise the content. If you have an international company dealing in multiple languages, then APIs can be developed and integrated into your systems for efficient translation, freeing up time for the staff when it comes to editing the documents and allowing them to focus on more important issues within the business.
However, TMS is different from automatic translation, as it has extra features such as importing and exporting different files and sending them to the right people within the business.
Top Benefits Of Automated Translation
- It greatly enhances the ability for the general population to speak to each other in different companies, for example in an auto-translated voice call on live chat, or for worldwide gaming purposes.
- It is quick and processes the translation in real-time, giving instant results when you need them without delay
- It can handle a large volume of content translation, unlike a human translator who can spend many hours getting a translation word perfect.
- It can translate many websites easily such as eCommerce platforms to enable international trade to take place
Drawbacks Of Automated Translation
- Machine translations are customised to the sector and ‘trained’ in translating different vocabulary common to business terminology
- Accuracy is a weakness, and oftentimes it is only taking the word it sees and translating that instead of trying to decipher the context of the passage. This is where a human translator really shines through, giving a fully accurate translation in context.
- Where marketing localisation and transcreation are concerned, machine translation is not advisable, especially if you are trying to convey an important marketing message between languages.
Here at Elite Asia, we understand the awesome power of machine translation, but we also know that a real human translator will deliver a much cleaner and more accurate copy than any machine ever could. What we can do is combine the methods for best results, so a machine translation might be able to get the translation 70% of the way there, but then a human translator takes over and polishes the last 30% to perfection for our valued clients.