no-machine-translation 318 × 292Google Inc. has acquired DeepMind Technologies Ltd in a bid to bolster Google Translate’s performance. Despite Google’s huge $17 billion investment in software and hardware development, they are not alone in the push for Machine Translation (MT).

MT is becoming increasingly prevalent in translation agencies’ workflow, with many companies incorporating light post-editing into their working practice, MateCat is one of the most innovative in this sense.

Many translators have seen vast upturns in their production rates as a result, 15-20% in most cases. There appears to be a huge movement in terms of the number of translators that use Translation Memory (TM’s) and MT, in tandem, to pre-translate files, and they are reaping the rewards.

Contrastingly, however, the difficulty lies in coding MT algorithms to be able to treat certain complex languages like Finnish. The truth is this technology is still not sophisticated enough to be able to process Uralic languages.

Although ambitious in scope, Statistical Machine Translation (SMT) is also failing to reach the mark from a terminology management standpoint. This is abundantly clear in SMT’s inability to identify contextual usage of certain terminology in a given field, in other words, the hierarchical makeup of the way that terms correspond to one another in a specific domain.

Lingua Translations remains a beacon of hope in clinging onto the translator’s integrity, as we are a company ran by linguists, we respect the complex way in which terms apply to certain fields and acknowledge the simple act of choosing the correct term in any given domain can be challenging.

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Truthfully, only human translation can bring true transparency to the industry, as the translator, a true bastion against MT’s rampant onslaught, plays a crucial role in pinpointing nuances in language and culture.

What do you think –

Translators – does the act of incorporating MT into your workflow represent a professional appreciation of how far MT has truly come in terms of quality?

Companies – has the introduction of MT into your general working practice seen a significant upturn in your company’s fortunes?

We’d love to hear what you think.