Language technologies continue to advance as the translation industry becomes increasingly popular and more organizations look towards translating their documents. While there are many different language technologies, there are a few common ones used by Language Service Providers (LSPs), and a few that are commonly used for other commercial purposes. 

Language Technologies: Machine Translation

Machine translation (MT) is a translation technology that doesn’t involve the use of human translators. All translation work done is completed by machines. This can be grouped into four main categories: 

  • Rule-based translation: an MT system based on linguistic information about source/target languages retrieved from dictionaries and existing grammar conventions.
  • Statistical translation: an MT system which bases translations on statistical models whose parameters are derived from a database of bilingual text.
  • Hybrid machine translation: an MT system which integrates multiple MT approaches into a single system.
  • Neural Machine Translation (NMT): an MT system based on a large artificial neural network which predicts the likelihood of a sequence of words that would occur in natural human language. 

While MT has come a long way, it isn’t ideal for translating legal documents, or documents that you’re using to reach a particular target audience. Frequently, these language technologies will produce translated documents with errors that are easily spotted by your target audience. This can not only create a poor social image of your organization but can also decrease your target audience’s likelihood of engaging with your product or service. 

MT can be used by LSPs but is primarily only used to check the accuracy of a translated document in the quality analysis stages. At Avantpage, our QA is done by human linguists to ensure that your document will appropriately reach your target audience with no language errors. 

Language Technologies: CAT tools

A CAT tool is a “Computer Aided Translation” tool. These tools are designed to help the translation process run more efficiently. A CAT tool essentially functions to create a Translation Memory (TM) for your organization. 

A TM is a database of past translations, which are used to increase translation efficiency. When your translation project is completed, the language from the source document is stored with its translation in this database. Over time, your database grows, and any new translation projects you start are run against the database to find matches. 

Using a CAT tool to create a TM allows for increased efficiency in translating your documents, as well as increased consistency across your translated documents. If you have words, phrases, or sentences that are repeated across your documents – they’ll always be translated in the same manner.

The consistency of your translated documents can also be increased through the use of linguistic assets like style guides and glossaries. These inform your translators of how certain words and phrases should be translated before they begin working on your documents. 

At Avantpage, we use a CAT tool to increase the efficiency of your translations and help keep your projects in-budget. If you’d like to get started on your next translation project, or want more information on how language technologies benefit your translation projects, call us at 530-750-2040, or request a free quote today.