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Machine Translation: When to Use It

As we have already mentioned in a previous post, using an automatic translator is not recommended in certain scenarios. Now we will see what situations are appropriate for using an engine like Google or Microsoft to perform a translation.

First, we ought to talk about productivity. Post-editing is faster than translating. It is estimated that a translator can post-edit from four thousand to five thousand words per day, compared to the three thousand words of translation per day. This way, if we have little time to deliver a translation to a client (that is, most of the time), post-editing can be a great ally. And if, for example, a client needs to translate one hundred thousand words in two days for internal informational purposes only, we can always offer doing machine translation only. Remember that in addition to the complete post-editing step, there is also simple or quick post-editing and the service of machine translation only. Analyzing each context will be crucial to choosing the right option.

In addition, if the client’s budget is tight, automatic or machine translation plus post-editing should be one of the first options.

Automatic translation is also plausible with texts that have simple wording and content, without rhetorical figures, subjectivities or technical language. Generally, employee handbooks, mobile applications’ content and administrative information yield a very positive end-result.

As a practical example, we can mention how e-commerce companies often need to translate their catalogs into multiple languages in a short amount of time.

Additionally, most of their products are being constantly updated. Post-editing will not only help the company offer its updated products around the world, but it will also reduce its translation costs.

Other companies may choose to only use automatic translation to translate their contents. For example, companies that offer accommodation and flights usually translate user comments and opinions by means of an automatic translation engine.

In summary, there are many situations in which doing automatic translation and post-editing is recommended. At Trusted Translations, we have always encouraged its use, provided that the end-result is functional to the client.