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Machine TranslationNeural machine translation is THE buzzword in the translation industry. Many employees use free providers, including for work purposes: Read on to find out about the risks involved and the advantages that make machine translation so appealing.

They are free of charge, fast, available 24/7, and produce apparently good results: Public providers of freely accessible machine translation are just a mouse-click away on the internet. Driven by large data volumes, artificial intelligence helps us with everyday communication – for example, in understanding emails from English-speaking colleagues. Or AI may serve as a stepping stone if you’re in a multi-lingual environment. Plus, if we can’t speak a language, we can get initial information at the drop of a hat.

However, by doing so, we have to surrender our data to the platform provider – valuable data can sometimes even reach the public. This is much more than a simple faux-pas for a company, as insider information can end up in third-party hands. A new product could be exposed to the public before its launch. Employee data could be published on the internet. This poses significant financial and legal risks that could damage your company. Therefore you need to weigh up the pros and cons carefully before you use a public platform. Machine translation that complies with data protection laws is one way of getting around this. It can also allow you to make full use of the technology’s potential without being subject to risks. We are happy to advise you on possible solutions.

Advantages of Machine Translation

Machine translation definitely comes into its own for large volumes of simple texts – especially when it’s just a question of enabling the reader to gain a rough understanding of the original, where well-written documents are not a priority. It’s also useful if a text is for internal use only and the relevant employees are already largely in the picture. Ultimately, demand for translations and multi-lingual documentation is growing so significantly worldwide that human translators alone cannot manage the workload any more.

Reservations about Machine Translation

However, one disadvantage is that machine translation cannot replace an actual human for the medium-term: Analyses of machine translations show that the devil is in the detail. After all, artificial intelligence is nothing more than a very complex algorithm, and it doesn’t always produce the desired results. Certain types of errors immediately point to machine translation, and these shortcomings can be critical to the content. Expert human translators are much more capable of viewing content in the right context, whereas machines only “think” on the basis of the data fed into the system. For that reason, machine translations are not suitable for complex or creative texts at the very least.

Therefore we recommend that machine translations are revised by a professional language expert – a process known as post-editing. This involves a native speaker rigorously checking the machine translation. You can then be sure that the translation will meet its intended purpose, too.

We can provide the perfect solution for every type and purpose of text – whether it’s a case of machine translation that complies with data protection laws, MT with post-editing, or human translation in accordance with DIN standards.

Checklist

When can machine translation help and be used effectively?

  • There are no data protection or compliance risks associated with the text
  • The text does not entail any health and safety risks
  • The translation is solely for information purposes or internal use