In today's globalized world, the need for efficient and cost-effective localization strategies has never been greater. As companies expand their reach across different markets and languages, the volume of content requiring translation has surged.
In response to this demand, Machine Translation (MT) has emerged as a powerful tool, offering potential cost savings and faster turnaround times.
However, as a Language Services Provider (LSP), we know that while MT is great for translating at scale, it needs to be properly considered and implemented. So, how do you do this? What’s the secret to getting MT right?
In this article, we’ll cover the three phases that make up a successful MT operation: setup, execution, and evaluation. We’ll look at best practices for utilizing MT as part of your company's localization efforts.
Setup Phase: Laying the Foundation
Making a few key decisions before you start will set you up properly and save you time and money down the line.
In this setup phase, take the following four points into consideration.
1. Choose the Right LSP
The right LSP will guide you through MT. They’ll talk to you about your needs and put together the best MT workflow, without confusing you with industry jargon.
You want a LSP that has experience working with a diverse range of MT engines.
Different engines are suitable for different projects. Experience with a variety of engines allows for flexibility in selecting the best-suited engine for your specific content types and language pairs.
2. Engine Selection
Conduct thorough research to identify the most suitable MT engine for your needs. Or, even better, do you know the LSP you’re partnering with? Lean on them to guide you.
They should consider factors such as content complexity, industry-specific terminology, and language nuances.
There’s an engine out there that’s right for your translation goals, and your LSP should be able to take you straight to it.
3. Data Security
Naturally, data security is always an important consideration. We suggest going for a secure version of an MT engine to safeguard sensitive data.
It’s paramount that the chosen engine provider has robust security measures in place to prevent unauthorized access or data breaches.
4. Leverage Existing Resources
Translation should always be looked at as an ongoing business consideration and not just a one-off project to satisfy a current need.
With this in mind, you’ll already have tools and resources that you can draw upon. Glossaries and past translation memories that have produced good results should be incorporated into your MT solution.
Some platforms even allow you to train MT engines to replicate preferred translations, enhancing the accuracy and consistency of your output.
Execution Phase: Implementing MT Effectively
You’re set up and ready to go. You’ve partnered with an LSP that’s a great fit with your business, and they’ve suggested the best engine for your needs.
Now it’s time to get going and translate your content. Here are three key things to consider when getting your MT engine working for you.
1. Quality Source Content
This is obvious but worth mentioning. When good content goes in, there’s a better chance good translated content will come out.
What do we mean by good content? We mean high-quality source content that is free from errors, ambiguities, idioms, and acronyms that might confuse the MT engine.
Your source content is the ingredients in the cake you’re about to bake. Take the time to make sure those ingredients are the best they can possibly be.
2. Computer-Assisted Translation (CAT) Tools
CAT tools divide multilingual content into segments that are then stored in a database for future use. How they do it isn’t important.
What’s important is that they do it, and you can utilize CAT tools to segment and prepare your content for translation. Put simply, they enhance the collaboration between human translators and MT engines.
The result is smoother translations and improved segment alignment for future reference.
3. Post-Editing and Review
MT is great, but it’s not perfect. It’ll do a lot of the work for you, but you’ll still need someone to run their eyes carefully over the translated content.
MT has improved significantly, and it continues to improve, but this step – called post-editing - is still essential.
Review and edit the output to ensure it meets the required quality standards. Use linguistic expertise to refine the content and eliminate errors.
Evaluation Phase: Ensuring Quality & Consistency
As an LSP, our Quality Assurance (QA) process has to be thorough and robust.
After all, our clients will probably only find out if the translation isn’t accurate when it’s out there in the world, live.
At that point, bad translation can damage brands, yield poor business results, and even have legal repercussions. So, this phase is very important.
1. Quality Checks
Automated quality checks are tools that help make sure your translations are solid. They work by looking at your set standards and spotting common mistakes that machines might make.
Once these mistakes are found, they can be fixed. This leads to better and clearer translations. So, using these checks makes sure the translation isn’t just correct, but it also sounds right and makes sense to readers.
2. Specialized Features
Your LSP should have ideas on how to make your translation not only accurate but as natural as possible.
For example, we have an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-enabled MT platform that can customize translations to match your preferred voice and gender.
This feature adds a personal touch to the translations, enhancing the overall localization experience.
3. Statistical Quality Check
If concerns persist, opt for a statistical quality check service that involves human review.
This process reviews a sample of translated sentences to gauge the overall quality and guide the decision to release the translations as is, or suggest human editing.
Your MT Journey
You've now gotten an overview of everything you need to know about the MT journey. It should give you the confidence to ask the right questions to a potential LSP partner, so that you can use the power of MT to your full advantage.
After all, MT has transformed the localization landscape. It offers unprecedented efficiency and cost savings by following the three phases of setup, execution, and evaluation. Done right, you can harness the power of MT and ensure high-quality, accurate translations.
If you’re ready to embrace MT, you can take your company's localization efforts to new heights, fostering seamless communication and engagement with diverse audiences worldwide.
Get A Quote For Your Machine Translation Needs
Looking for assistance with your MT project? Let's discuss it together.
Our consultations come at no cost and with zero commitment.
Choose LinguaLinx, and ensure your message remains clear through translation. Our ISO 17100 and ISO 9001 certification, two decades of expertise, and the trust we've built with various organizations guarantee that you're choosing the best.
Continue Learning With These Helpful Articles
- How to Recognize High-Quality Language Translations
- Top 5 Language Translation Problems to Avoid
- Pros & Cons of Using a Language Service Provider