Machine Translation as an Option

Everyone always wants to know: has Machine Translation (MT) already achieved parity with Human Translation (HT)? But they’re asking the wrong question. The question they should be asking is: how can the MT solutions available today be leveraged to get the best possible results?

In this day and age, MT must be considered as an option, not only as a complement to a human translation workflow, but also when usability of the output process allows for providing a gisting type of service.

Ten reasons to consider an MT solution

When analyzing the 10 top reasons for adopting an MT solution, you will surely recognize its impact on one or more of the three main drivers when providing language services: cost, time and quality.

  1. A must in your marketing strategy: Market research is continuously revealing that, so far, globalization is not fostering the consolidation of a single “lingua franca.” People will always prefer to read marketing content in their own native language and that, of course, has an impact on revenue. Retailers using globally accessible platforms employ this “diffusion” tactic to promote their offerings.
  2. Shelf life: Information, like any other product, is perishable, and the ROI for re-localizing it with HT may be close to nil. From raw MT to an MT-based workflow with some human involvement, somewhere along the line there may be a point when localizing is worth the effort.
  3. Cutting down on costs: Whether you are on a tight budget or just thinking about getting more “bang for your buck,” MT is guaranteed to have a huge impact on costs.
  4. Tight deadlines: Cost is not the only constraint to consider. Time is often of the essence as well! Since translation services are generally a lower priority, time becomes critical when urgent needs spring up.
  5. Faster turnaround times: Sim-shipment may no longer be a buzzword, but it is still relevant. MT can help you get up to speed so that you can have your product or service ready in as many languages as you need for a global offer.
  6. Data screening: With high-volume content to process, using keywords for your search within an MT output can help spot the right info at the right time. Content users perform this “assimilation” tactic to move one step further into the “zooming in”
  7. Zooming in: Once you run the previous screening step, you can then zoom into what you really need to focus on, and which may merit quality review steps and delivery of a class-A service.
  8. Well-developed global content: Your global strategy may be based on development of local content. However, global content that has been developed following appropriate internationalization guidelines and best practices will certainly give you excellent input to benefit from MT.
  9. Not all content needs the same workflow: Suppose you are giving a presentation for which you need slides translated, but you won’t be sharing your notes with your audience. In other words, you need your notes with a quality level in the target language good enough that you can use them to help you communicate the message and to use the right terminology. Why subject those two different types of content to the same treatment? Why pay extra?
  10. Social impact: Sentiment analysis can be performed quickly where the potential impact of a message can be assessed. Social media posts, late news, potentially fake news, customer reviews, or the outcome of a political poll or live comments from the Super Bowl or the World Cup—everything can be screened. The positive, neutral or negative content of the publisher can be detected on the fly. Undesirable content such as hate speech can be prevented from going public.