Automatic translation: what it is and how it’s changing online content

More people than ever publish content online. And this content, in the case of companies operating in international markets, needs to be translated into various languages. While in some cases it involves making the information of an institutional website available in different languages, in other cases, it is necessary to translate thousands of product descriptions of an e-commerce site.

Automatic translation systems are increasingly used for their practicality. But what are they, really? And what impact are they having on online content?

 

What is automatic translation (Machine Translation)

Automatic translation, also known as Machine Translation or MT, is a process in which asoftware translates a text from one language to another without any human intervention.

Almost all of us have encountered this system at least once. Have you ever done a quick translation of a phrase on Google Translator? That’s an example of Machine Translation!

There are different types of automatic translation:

Rules-based

This approach leverages the grammar and rules of a language together with customized dictionaries based on a particular argument or sector.

Statistical

This system is based on the analysis of enormous quantities of human translations and the use of statistical methods to generate an output.

Neural

Thanks to continuous improvement in Machine Learning, this system, based on Deep Learning and neural networks learns constantly and allows the production of high quality translations.

 

The impact of automatic translations on the web

Without a doubt, today we can access an unlimited quantity of content. And it’s very easy to work in international markets and even sell our products or services abroad.

And so social networks are full of wasted opportunities in the form of product photos arriving from other countries with unlikely descriptions or restaurant menus with literal (and completely incorrect) translations. This comes mainly from automatic translations!

Even without considering these cases, which are amusing but unfortunately far too common, there’s a high level of carelessness with regard to content translated into another language. And this unprofessional approach is caused by the fact that automatic translation is easily accessible.

If you have to translate a large quantity of content and don’t care about its quality, you might be tempted to rely on Machine Translation. In effect, it could be the right solution for you! But just in one condition. Which?

 

The right approach to Machine Translation

Automatic translation has evolved over the years. And many translation agencies offer services that utilize this system to contain costs and speed up output. But what is the difference between entrusting professionals who use this method and attempting to use it yourself?

When an agency relies on automatic translation, the software is accompanied by a proofreader who reviews the content. The proofreader is a professional translator who corrects any errors and (depending on the service requested by the client) edits the text to make it flow more “naturally”.

Correctly managing this phase of the work requires competence and experience. This is why it is recommended that you collaborate with a qualified agency rather than trying to manage an automatic translation yourself.

 

Machine Translation is evolving quickly and is becoming increasingly useful to translators. In many cases, it allows the achievement of good results at advantageous prices and with quick turnaround. But it’s necessary that this instrument is used by professionals to achieve the maximum performance!

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