Businesses looking to offer their products and services not just to their home country but also to other parts of the world are using translation technology. They’re ramping up content production and needing it to be adapted to more languages.
Fortunately, translation technologies made multilingual content creation simpler and more streamlined, allowing companies to create content and tailor it in languages that their target markets can understand and relate to.
Using platforms, solutions, and translation services allow them to gain an advantage over their competitors that have not yet taken a look at translating their content in different languages, especially in countries where they plan to market and promote their business, launch their campaign, and increase their customer base.
Today, we’ll be looking into translation technology and the different available solutions that ecommerce and enterprises alike can use to translate their content to reach and engage target markets.
Translation Technology: An Overview
Businesses that have not considered translation of their content might not be able to compete and succeed in their industry or field unlike their competitors who have started translating and localizing their content.
With the rapid digitalization of the world, translation technologies become even more significant in inter-lingual communication. It is why businesses should look into it to increase their chances of success to local markets.
These technologies have been around for over 50 years now, but it keeps getting better, making it a more crucial player in the success of any business especially that the world is increasingly becoming interconnected.
At its core, translation technology comprises software tools, solutions, and platforms that support and aid individuals and businesses in converting text from one language to another. It improves overall effectiveness, accuracy, and productivity.
It is composed of every technology used in translation, including terminology management tools, translation memories, machine translation, voice-to-text technologies, and virtual interpreting technologies.
Benefits of Translation Technology for Businesses
Through translation technology, businesses can improve the quality of their content being translated to another language, ensuring it contains correct grammar and spelling.
It also improves consistency across content because it can store past translations of projects, let’s say, allowing it to be reused and referred to for upcoming projects. In this case, it also reduces cost for companies instead of them working from scratch to translate content, which has been translated in past projects.
Speaking of reduced cost, businesses can also improve and streamline their operating efficiency because translation technologies can help them automate translation management activities, allowing them to use their resources some other place other than their people working on the translation.
Thus, a translation technology for business can also increase the overall productivity of teams.
Delay to market is another issue that translation technologies can address. In the past when translations were manually done, ecommerce and enterprises looking to promote and launch campaigns to a specific locale and translate their content couldn’t market immediately because of the slow turnaround time.
This issue is addressed by translation technologies that can offer automated translations, especially of general content. In this case, businesses can accelerate their time to market because translation technologies allow for a rapid production of content in less time.
Different Translation Technologies
If you’re looking to find out more about the different translation technologies that exist, here’s a quick overview of them.
Computer-Assisted Tools (CATs)
Over the years, these tools have been an integral player in the translation industry because they enable professional translators to improve the precision and efficiency of the output. Some language service providers are using in-house CAT tools while the others are using tools, like SDL Trados.
A CAT is a highly-advanced translation tool that can streamline many processes involved in translation. For example, it can perform text segmentation, which involves splitting/presenting the text for translator’s use.
This tool also offers word analysis that involves checking if the original text has been translated, allowing the reuse of past translations in a current project.
Additionally, these smart tools can work on source text extraction, which involves pulling the text out of the original/source document in different formats.
And when it comes to auto propagation, translators can also rely on CAT tools to do it for them. This includes applying the translation to the whole content when it detects any repetitions.
In addition, a CAT tool can provide businesses with automatic or instant translations. These outputs are already edited and approved by a professional human translator. A good computer-assisted tool can also put the proofread/translated text back into the format of the source text.
Like computer-assisted translation tools and translation technology platforms, a translation memory works to streamline and speed up the process of translation.
However, it is quite different in how it works. TM, which is a sentence pair database, works by storing translated sentences automatically in combination with the source text while translating the text.
It also cuts production time and cost, while allowing brands to stay consistent in terms of the tone and style of their content.
As typically brands have different work areas, departments, and sub-brands, they can accelerate the entire translation process and time-to-market with the help of these translation memories.
A CAT tool can offer recommendations for the sentence from the translation memory’s database.
Then, a translator will check on the match’s quality and appropriateness. When the returned results are 100 percent, it means an exact same match, allowing translators to determine that the source text has been translated. The results are shown to the translator.
Both the quality and quantity of the translation memory matches will directly affect the project’s delivery time and cost. There will be less work for a translator if the presence of matches is high.
Now, if you need to remove outdated translations or want to add past translations, you’ll use the tool’s translation memory management. It allows the process of updating and keeping a translation memory.
The translation technology involves a method of combining different platforms, including DAM, PIM, or CMS with a translation platform, allowing users or translators to perform actions like sending and importing translations directly from whatever system they’re already using.
A few benefits that this technology offers include preventing copy and paste errors, accelerating time-to-market, reducing cost, and freeing up different resources. And because it allows the centralization of translated documents or texts in databases or repositories, teams can monitor an overview of the project in real-time and easier.
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Terminology database (Term Base)
It is a collection of brand related terms/words and has been created to simplify the translation and proofreading tasks. For example, translators will be able to receive automatic or instant suggestions for a term or terms, which are in the term base when they need to translate a new source sentence.
Terminology databases can help brands maintain consistency and accelerated production times. They can offer additional information about words, such as notes, approval, and notes, last edit date, and creation date.
Also called content platforms or language platforms, these platforms can connect people from different countries, allowing businesses to connect with professional service providers, such as text editors, translators, proofreaders, and copywriters.
These platforms are intuitive and have a simple user interface that allows real-time collaboration on projects. They allow teams to see what’s going on, keeping tabs on what is going on.
For linguists and language experts, such platforms are integrated with the translation tools, which allow for easier translation and support for the customer.
What makes a good translation technology platform? It can streamline various project management tasks, including allocating specific translators and invoicing.
This allows brands to accelerate and speed up their time to publish content. It also offers good collaboration tools, which allow teams to check and monitor the project’s progress, while quickly accessing important information, including invoices, finances, and people working on the project..
This translation technology also eliminates the need of businesses to send their content to translation agencies manually through email or their website because such platforms are already built-in with the tools that aid in faster content production. They have features that allow for adding and integrated processes and systems.
Machine translation (MT)
Due to major advances behind MT, this translation technology has come a long way and can now deliver more accurate results by 2016 with the rise of neural machine translation, or NMT.
It becomes popular and is the choice technology of modern users. The machine or the engine learns as time passes by, and so the results also become more precise than they were in the past.
Versus any machine translation technologies used today, NMT can produce far better accurate results.
How does it work? It uses a network that is composed of millions of virtual neurons, which are inspired by the human brain. With the machine or engine being trained, it becomes more efficient in delivering accurate translations.
What’s best is that it can also be trained based on customer-specific data coming from a translation memory or Term Base.
Machine translators, nevertheless, are a growing area that constantly changes and develops to provide better translation results.
Type of machine translation
There are three categories to machine translation
Statistical machine translation, a system that translates text based on a massive body of parallel text on which it has been trained.
Rule-based machine translation is an engine that translates sentences and words according to a given set of rules, which the user themselves can adjust.
Neural machine translation (NMT) is an artificial intelligence powered engine, which can mimic how the human brain works when processing a language. They can understand a sentence in its entirety as well as paragraphs, not needing to translate every word.
What is post-edited and raw machine translation?
Machine translation can deliver a translation output with a particular quality. It depends on certain factors.
For instance is the language pair available. Know that languages may have different syntaxes (e.g. Chinese and English); thus, translating these languages may be difficult when compared to other languages possessing the same grammars, such as Spanish and French.
The subject of the source text can also affect the quality delivered by machine translation. For many translators, it can be easier to translate general text than medical or legal text, which has technical terms and jargon.
In addition, the machine translator can also find it hard to translate text that has already undergone pre-editing in order to remove specific elements. That’s not all but translation machines might also struggle when there is a massive amount of data that it has to train on.
The quality of the output may also be affected when human translators or editing service providers have been used to improve the output that MT has delivered. Lastly, it can also be influenced by the type of provider that has been used to translate the document or text.
For example, no two machines or engines are alike when it comes to higher quality outputs because there are engines with better and more access to data.
In this regard, businesses must be able to choose between raw machine translation or unedited machine translation and machine translation post-editing or human translators to improve or fine tune the results based on their needs, budget, and goal.
But if you require a higher quality output, you might as well choose MTPE services, especially if you’re translating sensitive documents, such as legal and medical.
As you know, errors in translation in this industry can be costly. It is better to hire machine translation post-editing to human translators than to pay for damages or suffer from losses later.
If you’re choosing raw machine translation, you must be able to use a highly advanced engine that is using updated, highly-trained, and reliable artificial intelligence technology.
Fortunately, there are machine translation quality estimation tools that can be used to assess and determine the output generated by machine translators. With such tools, post-editing can be focused on where it is needed, saving businesses time and money.
For low-impact unambiguous and perishable content, you can use raw machine translation in documents like user product reviews, frequently asked questions, customer questions, and updated content, including information updates and feature updates.
On the other hand, you might as well select machine translation post-editing when translating and generating sensitive content, including product descriptions, titles, press releases, and knowledge bases. Inaccuracies in these types of content may damage the reputation of your brand.
So, if you’re looking for high-quality output for delicate or sensitive content, you might want to consider human translators. Examples of such content or documents in which you may require human translation also include technical and financial documents.
Also a great thing that machine translation is integrated in many computer assisted tools, the work of post-editors is made easier.
Some of these CATs feature term bases, glossaries, and translation memories. Some of them may also be included with style guides and brand books, which can keep the brand’s messaging and voice across all languages and cultures.
What is a translation management system?
This software platform can make translation easier, from the beginning to the end of the project. It can streamline the workflow of teams and organize the translation project.
Depending on the needs of the user, these TMS solutions vary, but they possess almost the same features, such as support for multiple file formats and languages, a project dashboard for easy access and monitoring of a certain project’s progress, and the ability to perform processes through adding users.
It can also help in streamlining processes through its ability to import current translation requests from external or outside systems, allowing for better collaboration and coordination with third-party service providers, such as translators.
A translation management system also features quick and real-time collaboration for improved teamwork and faster turnaround times.
Translation Technology and the Globalized World: How Are They Connected?
Modern consumers demand better experiences from brands. They need better access to information, which must be available in a user-friendly manner, while also demanding for quality offers that adapt to their needs and requirements and that are culturally fit.
The localization or adapting the brand’s look, feel, and message to a specific location or culture, is what businesses should look into if they want to globalize their brand.
The localization of content, which is made possible through culturally sensitive and aware translation, can make a huge difference when it comes to the success of a localization effort.
It means delivering content to a specific locale in their specific native language. Simply, localizing translation means delivering different content types in multiple languages to different audiences.
Thanks to translation technology that allows brands to adapt their messages based on their target markets. It addresses the challenges they meet while promoting their offers to other markets and helping reduce translation cost through improved translation quality and speed.
More than ever before, companies can globalize their brands faster and more efficiently, and that’s because of the better technologies that are made available for them. Now, they can go about the process of localization faster, reduce the cost of operations, and increase productivity in all aspects of the business.
Choosing the right translation technology
How can you determine if a certain translation technology is right for your business? As there are lots of them that exist on the market, it really pays off to do your homework and study your options well to select the kind of technology that suits your needs.
While you’ll find a myriad of translation technology services that offer tools and functionalities, you also need to determine which among them is flexible enough to support your growing needs, such as integrating them with any systems you’re using.
You should also determine if the technology is user-friendly and can support scalability. So while you should be using vendors that can cover all the bases, they should also be able to adapt to the needs of your business in the future.
In addition, it will be wise to look for service providers that can offer you a portfolio of their past projects and examples of work that they’ve accomplished in the past years.
You must also look at the features of the translation technology, and determine if you could select those that fit your business and that you actually need.
A service provider should be able to offer you solid advice on this especially discussing the effects of such features to your processes and workflow.
The vendor should also be able to offer your company and people with training sessions and assistance when needed, like in troubleshooting issues.
You should also think carefully on whether you want a cloud-based or an on-premise solution. For a lot of businesses, they opt for cloud solutions because they don’t require a large space which they would otherwise need for an on-premise solution.
In addition, check if the provider can offer you an advanced, updated, and intuitive artificial intelligence powered machine translation.
Translation technology outlook
Translation technology keeps evolving and becoming more accessible and useful for more users and businesses. Now, there are also pocket-sized devices, apps, and earbuds, which simply mean that translation tools can be taken everywhere.
There’s also a wide range of options available online when it comes to translation services and platforms.
Real-time translators, on the other hand, are also accessible even for offline use, making the availability of internet connection no longer a must to translate instantly.
This proves valuable especially for travelers that want to understand what the other person they’re speaking to is saying in another language.
In the near future, translation users, both businesses and individuals, can witness more applications and developments in translation technology.
Sooner or later, even regional dialects and accents can be handled by these technologies, tools, and devices. Who knows?
Because deep learning models and more neural networks continue to improve translation, users can expect more apps, platforms, tools, and gadgets to deliver a higher quality output. It will also mean more speech and more translator service providers on the web.
The Future of Translation Technology is Bright
Translation technology continues to improve and deliver more accurate results, allowing translators to focus their effort and time on more complex translation projects.
It is because such translation technologies can work on repetitive and time-consuming tasks for them. Businesses and individuals needing translation help can also look forward to a faster turnaround time from translation service providers.
Which among the translation technologies we’ve mentioned have you tried and what were the results? Share it with the community.
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