Machine translation post-editing
Machine translation post-editing
Machine translation post-editing (MTPE) is a service that’s been around for a while, but for some reason, it’s got itself a bit of a bad reputation in the language industry. It could be because it’s not exactly the most popular service amongst translators. Bad MT output back in the day has given it a bit of a bad name, but is that really justified? We don’t think so! And that’s why we’d like to go over MTPE as we’re pretty sure it could be a really useful tool in your translation toolbox.
What is machine translation post-editing (MTPE) and what does it involve?
Machine translation post-editing (MTPE) is the process of combining machine translation output with the expertise of a professional translator. While machine translation quality has come on leaps and bounds since the introduction of neural machine translation, it’s not quite ready to replace a human translator. So, what happens is that texts are translated using machine translation (remember these are professional engines and not Google Translate!), and then they’re edited by a professional linguist to improve the quality. Simple 🙂
What types of texts are suitable for machine translation post editing?
This is probably the most important point we’re going to cover as it’s vital you remember that not every kind of text is suitable for machine translation or MTPE. First of all, you’ve got to ask yourself what’s the purpose of the text? Is it for my website? Will it be published? Or does style not really matter all that much, e.g. technical documents? If the texts will be used for marketing or something stylistic, MTPE isn’t a good idea.
The thing about MTPE is that even though the quality will be good, it doesn’t cover stylistic editing so the texts will still sound a bit robotic. However, if you’re dealing with technical texts and the like which aren’t the prettiest of texts in the first place, MTPE is perfect. To give you an idea of what we mean, here are 2 small marketing texts. You can see the different outputs – MT, MTPE, and human marketing translation so you can see the difference in services for yourself.
|Source text||Machine translation||MTPE||Human marketing translation|
|Bateria gwarantująca najdłuższe działanie iPhone’a bez doładowywania. Najszybszy czip, czyli niezrównana wydajność. Odporność na wodę i zachlapania. Zdjęcia jakości studyjnej i nagrywanie wideo 4K. Lepsze zabezpieczenia dzięki Face ID. Nowy iPhone XR. Jeszcze wspanialszy.||The battery that guarantees the longest iPhone operation without recharging. The fastest chip, or unparalleled performance. Resistance to water and splash. Photos of studio quality and 4K video recording. Better protection thanks Face ID. The new iPhone XR. Even better.||Longest battery-life that guarantees iPhone use without recharging. The fastest chip, or unparalleled performance. Resistant to water and splash. Studio quality photos and 4K video recording. Better protection thanks to Face ID. The new iPhone XR. Even better.||Great battery life that guarantees you can use your iPhone without having to worry about recharging. Fast, unparalleled performance. Water and splash resistant. Studio quality photos and 4K video recording. Latest safety features including Face ID. Introducing our new iPhone XR. It’s even better.|
|Uszy do góry. Masz 50 milionów piosenek.||Ears up. You have 50 million songs.||Listen up. You have 50 million songs.||Listen up! Enjoy 50 million songs at the click of a button.|
Benefits of MTPE
There are a number of benefits of MTPE. First of all, is that it significantly increases your TATs. As the post-editor only has to proof the MT output rather than translate from scratch, productivity is increased no-end, which is great for companies who have a large number of documents and very little time. Plus, thanks to these time-savings, you also save money as you don’t have to pay for a human translator to do the job.
Does MTPE work for Polish?
Yes, it does! When it comes to machine translation in general, there are languages it does better at. Slavic languages as a whole are pretty complicated for MT because of our complex grammar, but when combined with post-editing, it works and can help language departments no end.