Machine Translation Post-Editing Services

What Is Machine Translation Post-Editing and Why Should I Care For It?

Machine translation post-editing or MTPE for short, can be considered a result of the constantly growing value of time in business and lack of it in particular. Translation services nowadays are required to be an integral part of the product development cycle. Our clients are often interested to have their product instantly available into many languages within a very short amount of time. While this was practically impossible without an immense amount of planning a couple of years ago, the technology has gone a long way since then. This is where machine translation post-editing comes to play.

machine translation post-editing

Today's technologies have enabled an option for some languages to be a subject of machine-performed translation. That allows the bulk of the job to be done by a computer, significantly reducing the time needed to prepare the final product. The machine translation is by no means perfect and client-ready fresh out of the oven. It is then carefully proofread and edited by a reviewer. This process is called post-editing.

How Does Machine Translation Post-Editing Differ From Google Translate?

A common misconception is that a translation company will just take your document, put it through Google Translate, send it back to you and get paid. That would be the "machine translation" part of it. The "post-editing" provides a significant difference. After the translation has undergone the machine translation process, IdeaText will put a highly professional, industry compliant linguist team to work on the document. The linguist team will make sure there are no machine translation shenanigans left in the document and that it's market-ready.

Apart from the human editing aspect, machine translation is not done by just any machine. Computers meant for machine translation post-editing are specifically "trained" by loading massive amounts of text documents (tens of millions of words) in machine translation memories called corpora. These massive memories are full of human translations and are used as a basis for machine learning. The bigger the corpora, the larger the pool of information the machine has at its disposal.

Lastly, given the fact that so much data involved, as well as your translation, is subject to machine translation, IdeaText always makes sure that your data is secure. We only cooperate with data compliant and confidentiality-bound corpora to make sure all translations entrusted to IdeaText are safe and not exposed to unknown third parties.

What Are The Benefits of Machine Translation Post-Editing?

After thoroughly vetting your potential vendor and choosing the right team for the post-editing job, this kind of translation service can offer a number of notable benefits:

  • Significantly reduced production time - Since the bulk of the translation is done immediately, rest of the time is dedicated to our linguist teams, making sure the text is well edited and ready for the target market. Our experience shows that applying machine translation post-editing to certain language combinations and particular industry texts, time-to-market has been reduced by as much as four times compared to standard translation procedure
  • Reduced budget requirements - Having most of the text translated by a machine takes some load off the translation teams, allowing them to work with a half-ready text. Now, it is highly dependent on the language combination and the subject area, however, the budget requirements have shown to drop to 60-70% from the original translation budget needs.
  • Memorization of key terms - A key benefit that comes from machine translation is the fact that many translation tools have the ability to memorize and thus re-use common words and phrases that are used within a given industry. This means that the translation software will essentially do its translation work better the more you use it.

It is true that machine translation post-editing is a rather new discipline in the translation industry. It is also true that if applied irresponsibly it can lead to very poor (and hilarious!) results. However, we at IdeaText believe that the right blend of machine assistance in the combination of right language resource teams can significantly reduce costs and time needed for your product to reach the market.

All our machine translation post-editing proposals are tailored individually, allowing you, the client, to decide how much machine involvement is desired. Our translation procedures are handled confidentially and in accordance with data protection laws. Please feel free to reach out for more information or for an individual, commitment-free quote.