Spring Edition 2016

We welcome you to the Spring 2016 edition of our newsletter. We are pleased to share with you our achievements and our development as a translation vendor.

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Machine translation refers to a translation done exclusively by a computer programme, the most well-known example being Google Translator. Assisted translation implies translation by a human translator with the help of a programme to create a database and manage file formats.

It is important not to confuse the concept of machine translation with that of assisted translation. Software is used in both cases, although in the case of machine translation 100% of the translation achieved is produced by the programme automatically with no type of human intervention.

What is assisted translation?
Software is also used in the case of assisted translation, however, the translation is not created with the software but rather it is manually introduced by a human translator. We talk of assisted translation because a programme is used to help the translator with several different tasks:

1. Assisted translation programmes create a database of all of the translations done by the translator. In this manner, the programme is able to retrieve texts that have already been translated by the translator or indicate if there is a similar sentence already translated in the database. It also enables the translator to select a word and search if it is already translated in the database and see the context. For this reason these databases are known as translation memories in the industry.

2. Another function that assisted translation, or CAT, programmes have become specialised in is their capacity to extract the text for translation from a wide range of formats. Therefore, the majority of programmes are able to extract the text from a brochure created in InDesign, a .xml or .csv format extracted from a CMS (content management systems, for example, Drupal, WordPress, Magento or Prestashop) or from a PowerPoint presentation.

So, what is post-editing?
There is an increasingly high number of translation companies that offer post editing services, which we could define as a mixture of machine translation and assisted translation. In this case the first process is to automatically translate the text, which usually takes place in highly specialised translation environments and the system is personalised to achieve high-quality machine translation. After this process, there is a human and manual revision process, during which the translator generally uses an assisted translation programme to make the necessary corrections to the automatically translated text. Currently, the field of application of this technique, primarily focused on reducing the high cost and time necessary for purely human translation, is applicable to technical translation. In the case of highly creative texts, it is counter-productive from the point of view of the time actually saved and the quality obtained.