in Language Technology, Localization Tips

3 Key Benefits of Machine Translation

Machine translation as a concept has come a long way since it was initially tested over 60 years ago. It was originally suggested as a method for the US government to monitor Russian activities after World War 2; now it has developed into something that has transformed the translation industry entirely. Almostt all of the major translation companies worldwide use at least some element of machine translation when working on texts and, considering the developments in recent years, it’s easy to see why. Here are 3 benefits of using machine translation.

Enhanced Timeline

A key benefit of machine translation is speed.  Machine translation is significantly faster than human translation. It’s estimated that the average human translator can translate around 2,000 words a day and, while multiple translators can be assigned any given project to increase that output, this still pales in comparison to machine translation. Machine translation can generate thousands of words every minute.

Cost

The cost of machine translation is also significantly lower than that of human translation. There are extremely advanced machine translation platforms now that are accessible for free! Google translate for one is becoming more accurate each year and users can also enter an unlimited amount of content for translation for free.

Consistency

Machine translation allows systems to memorize key terms and phrases that are used within a given industry. This leads to increased consistency across the entire text. If human translators  are used to translate a text, their translations may change slightly depending on a number of factors, whereas a machine’s translation will not.

However, even with all of these benefits, machine translations still haven’t usurped human translators…yet! The majority of successful translation companies worldwide use machine translation, but only to assist their human translators. This is because machine translated material still needs a human translator to proofread after completion, which takes more time than anticipated. . This also affects the cost of the translation. It won’t exclusively be machine translation that’s paid for, because the company will also be required to pay for a human translator to check the text after.

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In terms of the text remaining consistent, is this really a positive? If it is going to be interpreted by a human, surely another human would know how best to phrase the sentences each time to make them completely comprehensible. It comes down to the age old question; ‘is translation an art or a math problem?’ If it is a math problem, then machine translation will take over and suffice. However, if translation remains an art, then human translators will always be required to properly translate texts.

At CSOFT we pride ourselves on utilizing the latest and most state-of-the-art machine translation technology. The trends are changing with machine translation, and it is vital that credible translation and localization companies keep ahead of the trends to provide the best and most effective translation services possible. Despite this important focus, it is also incredibly important that translation keeps its human touch, and our dedicated team of expert linguists and translators ensure that our services make the best of both worlds.