Machine translation (MT, or automatic translation) is one of the most controversial topics of the translation industry. While CAT software is a standard now and nobody, hardly any professional translator, claims that is has a negative impact on the translation quality, machine translation has at least as many allies as adversaries. Machine translation earned its bad reputation mainly through free automatic translators, allowing for translation of web pages and any other texts, with no costs but with very low quality. Because of that, for many Internet users machine translation became a synonym of something worthless.
Yet, the technology of machine translation creates great opportunities and the quality of target text depends on the procedures involved. CM's aim is to use this technology as a tool of speeding up the workflow and reducing the costs, while maintaining the quality of human translation. Below you may find three main features distinguishing our approach from the one offered by free automatic translators:
- Machine translation is not an artificial intelligence manifestation, but only a statistical interpretation of already existing translations — the so called parallel corpora — making it possible to find the most likely translations of non-translated phrases. Therefore, this method works according to the GIGO rule (garbage in — garbage out), that is, the quality of translation depends on the quality of used corpus. Automatic translators available on the Internet use as their one and only corpus the whole World Wide Web, called sometimes 'the great dustbin'. In a contrary, our approach is to use as corpora the translation memories containing only the high quality translations created as a long-time output of our operations.
- Even the best corpus, if not specialized, is of a little value. After all, the same words can have different meanings for an IT specialist and for a physician! Automatic translators do not ask about the field - they always use the same corpus. Our approach is based on specialization. We own corpora prepared on the basis of single-field translations, with added thematic glossaries helping in avoiding terminology misuses.
- Machine translation may attempt to replace human translators, but it can also prove to be a useful tool for them - in the same way as other devices help us in our everyday life. But it is always a human who decides which function to choose. Our approach is not about delivering computer-translated texts. Machine translation is only one of the matches proposed by a CAT tool. We, human translators, can accept, modify (in case of a minor correction needed) or completely reject the proposed translation. The next step for such prepared text is an editing phase, which is no different from the editing stage performed in case of human translations. This means that the final quality is not compromised in any way.
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