Machine translation, a major step forward
It is the solution chosen by most of us when trying to understand a foreign language text.
However, for professional translations and those that require a high level of technical accuracy, the MT is not satisfactory. Errors, gaps or inaccuracies are visible in the result. A careful review by a field expert will be necessary.
What is missing in TM?
Well, look carefully! You will easily be able to see the errors, gaps or inaccuracies in your target text. In technological fields or cutting-edge sectors, these will be fatal mistakes.
Indeed, The TM does not know the specific technical terms of the field you are dealing with and may mislead you.
It will not consider the specifications you received for this job or the intricacies of this document (target audience, document formats, intended use, etc.) which shape its phraseology. Then you run the risk of getting your client into trouble or, even worse, spoil his reputation.
What is missing in the translation machine is the intelligence that allows you to make links, to cross-reference sources, to remember the detail that will allow you to find the right term.
How does the human translator work?
To ensure an optimal translation
Mapping out the terminology domain
The first step for the human translator will be accurately mapping out the terminology domain, making sure it is on the appropriate topic/sector, the proper context, the right company, the correct date, etc., before even beginning the translation.
2. Identifying difficulties
The translator identifies errors in the source, inaccuracies, and elements that may mislead him.
3. Questions to the contractor
This step is very important. When the translator starts working, there are often technical points that need to be clarified on the contractor or customer’s side. The translator lists these points so that nothing is left to chance and submits them to the customer or to the contractor.
Now that he has gathered all the elements, the translator can finally get down to the heart of the job: the work of translation.
Once the translation is done, he will perform a whole series of checks in addition to spelling and typography. The translator will validate his terminology within the field and with the experts themselves. He checks whether all the elements/markers in the target context/region will match and be in the right place; Is there any hidden coding, language specifications of the target region/country or standards to be transferred to the relevant target area, etc.?
Finally, attentive to the client’s objectives, it will be able to make him aware of any unmentioned localization points, and will have his excellent translation validated.
The MT function must be complemented by a careful proofreading by the expert human translator.
How do you see it, what do you think?