Machine translation or MT is a technology using computer software to translate text. The MT technology made an entrance about ten years ago but has roots going back to the 1930s. A Soviet scientist back then introduced an old MT version, but no one picked up on it.
In the 1950s, IBM developed it some more, then made some more strides in the 1970s. However, it was not until the past ten years when real strides in MT happened, improving its precision and stability. MT is evolving rapidly, and as it becomes more reliable and accurate, it has many benefits.
Benefits of MT
Some of the many benefits of machine translation include:
1. Faster Translation
While MT cannot replace human translation at the moment, it speeds up the process and still gives you high-quality translation services. MT translates documents in half the time a human can, making it ideal for quick turnaround projects. When you have little time and only need a summary translation, MT is the best alternative to a human translator. When you need to scan documents to find specific sections, pages, or passages to translate, MT works perfectly.
2. Less Expensive
Machine translation is less expensive compared to using human translators. MT is faster and does not require to be paid minimum wage like a human. You can make use of MT for simple translations and hire professional translators for post-editing translation jobs. If all you need is a rough estimate of a translation, using a machine will cost you less and save you approximately between 35 and 98% of the cost of a human translator.
3. Sifts through Large Data Volumes
MT is helpful when you have large volumes of user-generated content that need fast translating. For instance, MT allows you to translate and review social media posts, online comments, and customer reviews. When the machine is done, human translators can do the follow-up translation if necessary.
4. MT is More Secure
Human beings make mistakes, and as a rule of thumb, the more people with access to a document, the higher the risks. When you reduce the number of people with access to sensitive data, MT can enhance data security and improve confidentiality.
5. Machine Translation Enhances Consistency.
You can customize machine translation using specific and relevant business terms. This improves the translated documents’ consistency. The computer program can be trained to use similar words for similar concepts every time. This helps in keeping your company’s voice consistent when working with various linguists and different content.
6. MT translates any language.
While a human translator specializes in specific languages, a machine translator translates any language. If you need several texts in different languages translated, you have to get a multi-lingual translator or several multi-lingual translators. With a machine translator, you do not have to worry about who will translate what.
Using a machine translator can save time and money when you need a job done fast and cost-effectively. The machine can do the initial translation, and a human translator does the post-editing. This will give you the best of machine translation and human expertise. More companies are using machine translation to deal with the massive user-generated data, especially on social media handles.