The Evolution of the Translator and Post-Edited Machine Translation

The machine translation market is predicted to be worth $1.5 billion in another six years. This doesn’t come as a surprise because the translation market has shown steady growth for the past few years. Of course, the growth itself is driven by globalization. Businesses want to be everywhere now and that means they need to localize.

There is a growing demand among global consumers for content that is relatable, whether its e-commerce, travel, hospitality, or electronics. This demand is exactly what’s turning the translation industry into a juggernaut.

However, the growth doesn’t come without its own set of challenges. Accuracy and a quick turnover time are some of the biggest requirements of the translation industry. As a result, Language Service Providers (LSPs) and Translators are desperately looking for affordable technological solutions that help them overcome these goals.

One of the solutions that meets these requirements is PEMT or Post-Edited Machine Translation.

PEMT: An Introduction

PEMT is a method of translation that involves the reviewing, editing and correcting of machine- translated material to deliver high-quality output. The work is, of course, done by a human. You see, it’s extremely important for machine-translated content to go through post-editing. The content needs to be compared with the source text for clarity and accuracy.

PEMT has been making the whole process easier by accommodating a high volume of work. Plus, it is relatively cheap and quick. But, most importantly, it is known for offering a higher level of accuracy compared to other forms of machine translation.

Now, it cannot be denied that machine translation has made things much easier. Like we said earlier, it offers a higher level of accuracy and quicker turnaround times. But, that’s not all. Machine translation can also predict outcomes based on stored data and increase efficiency. But, there are things that machine translation cannot do.

We still need human translators to handle the more nuanced aspects of the translation process. There are several parameters that need to adhered to in this regard.

The translator

The translator’s role has evolved drastically in the past and that’s going to continue to happen as newer technologies start to emerge within the translation industry. Experts will never stop developing or perfecting algorithms until they’ve achieved 100% accuracy in every aspect of the translation process.  

Until then, managing the finer aspects of translation will be left to the human translator. But, as we stated earlier, there will be changes in the tasks that these human translators will carry out. In the case of PEMT, the human translator doesn’t involve himself/herself in translating source text. Instead, they offer post-editing services, thereby, functioning as the quality control team. As a result, aspiring translators will need to update their skills to include proofreading and editing.

In fact, the industry will soon expand beyond traditional translation hires and look for people who can provide an expertise in transcreation, content development, content curation, market research, and analysis etc.

More opportunities

Contrary to the belief that automation will eliminate human contribution, it will actually create more opportunities. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics actually predicts a 17% rise in employment for translators and interpreters in the next eight years.

Technology isn’t the enemy. The industry needs to simply understand that adaptation is the only answer. Translators will have to develop skill sets that go beyond typical translation. They need to become editors, content writers etc.

The very purpose of technology is to eliminate unnecessary human effort and make processes easier. However, if we fail to understand how technology must be leveraged, it will begin to look like the enemy.

Call To Action (CTA):

Localize serves as a platform in which human translators can use to edit and finalize their translations.  By using Localize, you are saving time on conducting the initial translations first (using machine translations) which allows you more time to edit, proofread, and perfect the translations you have in place!  More time = greater opportunity to build growth for your company!

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