We are often asked how web pages dedicated to translating documents for free affect us as professional translators. It’s true that many people use free online translation to save themselves the cost of hiring a professional translator, but… is it really worth it? Did you know that there is an alternative? In today’s post we talk about one of the services we offer at Tatutrad to adapt to the needs of individual clients. 

There’s artificial intelligence (AI) in just about everything. Once upon a time, eye contact could win someone over, but now, that same look can make contactless payments at the supermarket; we all have a virtual friend who tells us what the weather is going to be like today; our questions are answered instantly thanks to chatbots that are becoming increasingly common in everyday life; lights that turn off when we touch a button on our mobiles; music or video applications that facilitate our decision making based on our personal preferences… 

At Tatutrad, we get on board with all the inventions emerging in the world of technology and look for ways to take advantage and apply them to our field and, at the same time, meet our clients’ needs in an innovative way that makes us stand out. This is why we also use AI in our translations when required. 

Our artificial intelligence translation service consists of the editing process once a machine has produced the translation of a specific text. In other words, it entails the post-editing of a machine translation, which does require a human translator to give the text meaning and quality that a machine cannot otherwise achieve. 

It’s important to remember that this service is not always feasible. Depending on the text in question, it may be more feasible to translate a text from scratch rather than post-edit a text. In fact, this service is recommended for only a very small number of texts. 

Why? There are various reasons for this. For example, if we are faced with a text that uses highly complex technical terminology, machine translation is more likely to be foe than friend. 

Another example might be that we want to translate a text requiring a high degree of creativity. Have you ever tried translating a slogan for your campaigns or a product description online and it surprised you? If you haven’t, give it a go (especially if you love a good laugh). 

A word of advice: everything that has a function also has limitations. By making do with a machine translation of a text, you run the risk of the result being completely different to what you expected. 

If, on the other hand, it is combined with the intelligence of a real-life translator, for example, in repetitive texts or texts that do not use highly technical vocabulary, machine translation and post-editing could be used to make the resulting text sound as if it were produced entirely by a translator, and the result could be of exceptional quality. 

This tends to be the case, to mention just a few examples, of e-commerce companies that are constantly updating their product catalogue, or those companies that renew their products based on previous ones and need to check the adaptation and coherence of their terminology. In such instances, the syntax is tweaked where necessary and the text is revised for spelling mistakes. 

“Why not save myself the second step?” you’ll ask yourself. If humans aren’t perfect, machines are even less so. They can make errors when interpreting phrases if they are too long, they don’t tend to correctly distinguish the gender of words, etc. We recommend you take another look at our post on machine translation to discover all the reasons why we don’t exclusively recommend automatically translating a text. 

In a world that relentlessly pursues efficiency and productivity, the figure of a post-editor, a professional translator who has the skills to add that necessary human touch to a text which has previously been subjected to software algorithms, has become more prominent. It is a halfway house between the human and the robotic solution which enables clients to receive the service they need at a price that is tailored to suit their budget, without it entailing the drop in quality that a simple free translation would no doubt involve. 

As we have seen, the result can be fabulous when machines and humans join forces. Machine translation and subsequent post-editing saves time while increasing productivity. That said, we must always remember that not all texts are eligible for this type of service. If you have any doubts, the best thing to do is get in touch with us via email, phone or in person so that we can advise you on the type of service that best suits your needs.