It is evident that certain documents require a human translator in order to interpret the subtleties of a language. Nevertheless, no matter how skilled a human translator may be, machine translation (also known as automatic translation or MT for short) exceeds the efficiency of a human translator.
Machine translation is generally used for subject-specific cases and this is where results and productivity rates are spectacularly higher. It allows individuals and companies to tailor their work according to the topic. Consequently, this enriches the output and quality of machine translation by cutting down on the number of choices for each word(s) to be translated.
This form of translation is extremely helpful in areas where formal language is used or phrases are repeated without much variation, such as administrative documents, which do not require the use of colloquial language and expression.
The potential of machine translation has been increasingly explored. In 2009, even President Obama mentioned that “highly precise automatic translation…could reduce the barriers faced in international commerce and collaboration.”
Companies such as Microsoft are pushing this field to its forefront to create the most efficient forms of translation. Simultaneous-translation devices are being explored worldwide, ranging form London to Japan, where large mobile-phone companies like NTT DoCoMo, have introduced an apparatus that translates phone calls between English and Japanese, or Chinese and Korean. More about this form of technology can be read in a recent article in The Economist.
Although simultaneous-translation seems to be at the height of the translating industry’s innovation, machine translation remains an extremely sought after technology; Microsoft’s Translator API (application programming interface) alone attracts over 10,000 commercial users. Its increasing investment in this field may have to do with the accumulation of information on the Internet and the value of social media- for example Amazon, Facebook, and Twitter have integrated Microsoft’s Translator Hub into their websites.
Our machine translation division PangeaMT has been a leader in developing, fast-training and self-updating (DIY SMT) routines since 2011. This allows users to create small engines with their own material (TMX bilingual files) whilst profiting from the language coverage offered by larger engines – with a very rich set of quality features and functionalities.
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