Why do I need machine translation?
According to research firm Common Sense Advisory, 72.1 percent of the consumers spend most or all of their time on sites in their own language, 72.4 percent say they would be more likely to buy a product with information in their own language and 56.2 percent say that the ability to obtain information in their own language is more important than price. These are just a few of the many reasons that translation has become essential in the modern and ever more globalized world that we live in.
Machine translation is a tool that can help businesses and individuals in many ways. While machine translation is unlikely to totally replace human beings in any application where quality is really important, there are a growing number of cases that show how effective and useful machine translation can be.
Machine translation can be used on its own or in conjunction with human proofreaders and post-editors. Depending on the nature of content, it is not uncommon to use 3 approaches together (even on one project) – human translation only, machine translation only and a combination of machine translation with human post-editing.
Machine translation is useful in many areas, including:
- Highly repetitive content where productivity gains from machine translation can dramatically exceed what is possible with just using translation memories alone (e.g. automotive manuals)
- Content that is similar to translation memories but not exactly the same (e.g. government policy documents.)
- Content that would not get translated otherwise due to cost, scale and volume limitations of human translations (e.g. millions of Chinese, Japanese, Korean and other language patents made available in English.)
- High value content that is changing every hour and every day there is time sensitivity (e.g. stock market news.)
- Content that does not need to be perfect but just approximately understandable (e.g. any website for a quick review.)
- Knowledge content that facilitates and enhances the global spread of critical knowledge (e.g. customer support.)
- Content that is created to enhance and accelerate communication with global customers who prefer a self-service model (e.g. knowledgebase.)
- Content that would normally be too expensive or too slow to translate with a human only translation approach (e.g. many projects that have insufficient budget for a human only approach.)
- Increasing the amount of content that can be translated within a budget (e.g. Dell has doubled the amount of content they translate without increasing their translation budget.)
- Real-time communications where it would not be practical for a human to translate (e.g. chat and email.)
There is great business value in enabling new and existing content to be translated. When customized, machine translation provides greater efficiency and productivity, lowering costs and increasing Return On Investment (ROI).