In Defense of Machine Translations

In a previous post (Industrial Translations and MT), I spoke of the industries that have to adapt to the new concept of the “age of discontinuity.” Academics are now wondering: do all sectors have to face this new conception of the economy and the business world? The analysis suggests that some sectors more prone than others, although all must be alert because the discontinuity is manifested as threatening several fronts.

One of the particularly vulnerable fronts is the one that offers one of the most highly developed production factors since the time of the Industrial Revolution: technology. In our case, more specifically this is in regards to developments in information technology (IT).

If there is any doubt about the close relationship between our translation industry and technology, can anyone imagine someone who, now in the second decade of the century, offers themselves to translate using nothing more than papyrus and quill as St. Jerome did in the good old days? I think the bare minimum a professional today would request would be a computer with at least one personal word processor. Not to mention that most demand an environment containing translation memories, glossaries, and, as if this were not enough, real-time updates of everything when working on said computer.

So let’s assume that we are technologically dependent and also vulnerable. Developments in IT can greatly impact our business. In this way, we need to accept that the development of MT (machine translation) is here to stay, which is going to continuously improve, and it will be a fundamental tool in the segment of industrial translations, as that segment grows and improves.

(Versión en español: