With the new year right around the corner, it’s time to make sure your global business properly preparing its tools and localization resources to reach your international audiences in the new year. And Machine Translation (MT) is a great way to do so. As a technology and localization method that has been trending in recent years, MT has become a favorite for many companies because it mixes two efficient areas for maximum localization impact: machine learning and human quality assurance.
Enter the new decade strong by getting a stronger understanding of how you can leverage Machine Translation to take your website global in 2020 (and beyond!). In this post, we break down the fundamentals of Machine Translation, for anyone using (or planning to use) MT to take their website global in 2020.
What is Machine Translation?
In short, Machine Translation is a type of translation technology that automates translation and localization. Today, the most efficient kinds of Machine Translation happening are those that are happening with humans in the translation loop.
What does this mean exactly? First, the MT software will translate content based on existing translations (sourced from the expected platforms such as Google Translate). Then, you can actually train the MT software to become ‘smarter’ by having your localization team continue to refine translations with continuous real-time input and resources like style guides.
Because Machine Translation is still a relatively emergent and technical field, there are often misconceptions about how it works — many of which come from the fear that it may be too technical for your team or too big of an investment. But fear not! Here are two of the main misconceptions, and the truth behind them so that you can better evaluate whether or not you will use them.
First, there is the misconception that MT requires a lot of time spent manually correcting inaccuracies, simply because it is being translated by a ‘machine.’ On the contrary, the overall MT process actually makes things more efficient and accurate, especially when integrated with a human translator into the loop. Then, on the flip side, there is the fear that Machine Translation technology may eventually put human translators out of business. Again, on the contrary (as we can see from the first misconception), this is not the reality simply because for MT to be most effective, the ‘machine’ must be refined with the quality touch of human translators and localization teams.
The Benefits of Putting Machine Translation into Practice
The benefits of MT are many, ranging from ease of use to being a low-cost solution. Outside of these main reasons, there’s quite a few more advantages of using MT to translate your content and take your company global. One big reason? Timeliness and efficiency. Depending on the amount of content that needs to be translated, Machine Translation can provide translated content in just a matter of seconds. Other reasons that companies keep using to leverage MT include:
- Fast and does not require vetting and managing of translators
- Cost-efficient for large volumes of translations
- Reduced time-to-market due to faster translation delivery
- Flexibility from a number of Machine Translation source engines
- Adaptable, programmable, and developer-friendly
- Ability to retrain MT into customized workflows and strings
Ready to use MT to take your business global in the new year? Download our Ultimate Guide to Machine Translation in 2020 today learn more.