Translation Best Practices: The 21st century globalized society is one where communication is key, irrespective of lingual and cultural differences. Fortunately, the advent of technology has made the job easier, raising the standards of translation best practices and giving us the gift of connecting audiences from all corners of the globe. But as the saying goes, every coin has two sides. For all the good, technology has also brought certain challenges to the translation process. This blog is your comprehensive guide to the types of technology used in translation, its advantages, and disadvantages.
What are the types of technological tools used for translation best practices?
The types of technological tools available in the market is as varied as the different ways in which people demand translation services. Let’s take a look at some of the common translation tools used across the world:
Computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools
CAT tools are a staple of translation technology, known for the efficiency they provide to the process of translation. Features like translation memory, managing terminology and quality control are terms often associated with the use of CAT tools. Upon installation, translators can depend upon CAT tools to remember instructions, language details and audience requirements.
Machine translation (MT) tools
Thinking of using algorithms and statistical models to translate text automatically? Well, Machine Translation tools have already done that. Depending upon the underlying technology, these tools are categorized as rule-based, statistical or neural. Machine translation tools are a great companion to human translators.
Probably one of the most important software used by professionals across the globe, translation management systems help chase translation best practices, right from project management to actual translation, to review and approval. TMS is an amalgamation of several other tools and online glossaries, which is why it offers features such as translation memory, terminology management and workflow management.
Speech recognition tools
Speech recognition tools can automatically transcribe from speech to text. This text can now be easily translated from source to target language.
Translating isn’t always enough, localization tools are also an important aspect of ensuring translation best practices. With localization tools, take your project to the next level with features such as cultural adaptation, graphics and multimedia translation, and formatting and layout adaptation.
Terminology management tools
In translation, consistency is key. And if you value succesful results, terminology management tools are your best bet. They can be used to create glossaries, manage term lists, and provide context for terms to ensure translation best practices.
Why is technology a popular tool for translation best practices?
With tools of such variety, technology and translation software can solve a variety of challenges translators face. Here are some specific reasons why technology is beneficial for translation
Efficiency comes from saving not just time, but also money. Fortunately, translation technology -such as machine translation software- does both, which is why it’s one of the most popular tools for translation best practices.
Maintaining consistency in translation through geographical and regional terminology is a must. Translation memories and terminology databases are a great help in this matter.
One of the major advantages of using technological software for translation is that it can be layered and integrated with other tools and systems. For example, we can employ machine translation tools with content management systems for automatic translation of web content.
Machine translation tools elevate a blank canvas, providing human translators with a base for further fine-tuned translations. This double edged approach helps achieve higher-quality translations.
What types of software should be avoided for translation best practices?
Generally, exercising caution can help you avoid several problematic scenarios. The same can be said about using technology software in translation. Here are a few examples of technology that should be avoided
Automatic Translation Software without human review
Automatic translation software, also known as machine translation, can be useful for getting a general idea of the meaning of a text. But then again machine translations can also be inaccurate or incomprehensible at times, especially when making cultural references. We always recommend using human and machine translations simultaneously.
“Old is gold” is a saying that applies to several things, but definitely not translation software. Using outdated software can be disadvantageous as it might not be compatible with the latest file formats. Chances are they also do not have access to the most up-to-date translation memories and terminology databases. All this increases the frequency of errors in translation.
Free Translation Apps
Some translation apps may not provide accurate or reliable translations, particularly those that are free or have not been developed by reputable companies.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
While translation technology has several benefits, it isn’t free from shortcomings. The major drawback of using technological tools is a possibility of erroneous translation. Human translators who are adept at understanding intonation and cultural nuances hence play an integral part in ensuring translation best practices.
Common technological tools used in translation services range from Machine Translation, Translation Memories, and Terminology Databases to Quality Assurance tools and Content Management systems. These tools play an essential role in maintaining accuracy and consistency, while also promoting a more efficient work flow for translation best practices.
While technology surely has advanced by leaps and bounds, we are still not at the point where it can completely replace the translation skills of human translators. This happens mostly because machine translation is inherently incapable of understanding speech inflection and cultural nuances in content. Accuracy can only be achieved when human translators step in.
Technology is a valuable tool for translation services, and can help your business translate content into almost any language. However, keep in mind that purely computer generated translations are often literal translations, and there remains chances of error without human editors. This will not meet the requirements for a target audience or a brand.
Businesses can benefit by using a technological advancement for bulk content, and assign these to humans for better editing. There is a feedback and editing process that continues for some, after some training from skilled human translators, the machine translations might eventually need a lesser amount of editing.