Machine Translation basics
Machine translation is the use of computer technology to translate text from one language to another. A computer software takes an original (source) text, splits it into words and phrases (segments), finds and replaces these with words and phrases in another language (target).
machine translation technology can quickly produce large quantities of translated texts without any human involvement at all. Machine Translation (MT) is an automated translation of text performed by a computer. It provides text translations based on computer algorithms without human involvement. With Machine Translation, source text is easily and quickly translated into one or more target languages. Maybe the most well-known Machine Translation Engine is Google Translate, and LingoHub put its trust as well in DeepL and Amazon Translate for machine translation purposes.
Before the AI technology era, computer programs for the automatic translation of text from one language to another were developed. In recent years, AI has been tasked with making the automatic or machine translation of human languages’ fluidity and versatility of scripts, dialects, and variations. Machine translation is challenging given the inherent ambiguity and flexibility of human language.
Machine Translation is not to be confused with Computer Assisted Translation (CAT). While CAT includes the use of different machine translation engines, their role is usually supportive to the human translator. On the other hand, Machine Translation is the sole product of the computer, although human reviewers might be included for quality assurance.
Things to consider when opting for Machine Translation:
Accelerated translation workflow: translations are done much faster
Type of content that is being translated: not all content is suitable for MT. However, content which is frequently changed or updated would demand high costs of human translation and MT might be the perfect solution.
Not all languages provide the same quality of results: MT still provides the best results when translating from and to English, with several languages close behind: Spanish, French, German, Portuguese.
Human factor: no matter the quality of MT, human professional translators are still the most reliable option. Are you translating generic phrases or specialized or niche texts? Before choosing MT, consider including a human reviewer in your translation process.
How is Machine Translation done?
The most basic function of Machine Translation is the word-by-word translation where a word in source language is replaced with the corresponding word in another language. This system has been a source of much confusion and general distrust in MT engines. However, since its humble beginnings, MT has developed significantly and the quality and precision of translation is setting higher bars. We can distinguish several types of Machine Translation:
1. Rule-based Machine Translation (RBMT): Relies on linguistic rules and bilingual dictionaries for every language pair.
How it works: Basically, a dictionary for the source language is used to select appropriate words in the target language. Syntax and grammar rules of both the source and target locale are observed, and the words taken from the dictionary are adapted appropriately (gender, grammatical number, word order etc).
2. Statistical Machine Translation (SMT): uses statistical translation models from analysing training data. By learning and comparing to training documents, desired source text is translated based on probability of occurrence in the target language. Works best for language pairs with similar word order.
3. Neural Machine Translation (NMT): uses deep learning system to teach itself and constantly improve. created by using representation learning and deep learning.
What are the benefits of machine translation?
One of the crucial benefits of machine translation is speed as you have noticed that computer programs can translate a huge amount of text rapidly. Yes, the human translator does their work more accurately but they cannot match the speed of the computer.
If you especially train the machine to your requirements, machine translation gives the ideal blend of brisk and cost-effective translations as it is less expensive than using a human translator. With a specially trained machine, MT can catch the setting of full sentences before translating them, which gives you high quality and human-sounding yield. Another benefit of machine translation is its capability to learn important words and reuse them wherever they might fit.
- Increased speed and volume of translations
- Reduced time consumption due to faster translation delivery
- Keep the translated content consistent into multiple languages
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Arabic MT: Although Arabic-to-English translation quality has improved significantly in recent years, pervasive problems remain. One of them is the re-ordering of verb-initial clauses–especially matrix clauses–during translation. We have recently developed a high-precision Arabic subject detector that can be integrated into phrase-based translation pipelines (Green et al., 2009). A characteristic feature of our work is the decision to influence decoding directly instead of re-ordering the Arabic input prior to translation. We have also created a state-of-the-art Arabic parser that can be used for a variety of MT tasks.
Machine translation can assist in content translation, but it cannot replace human translators.
Machine translation is mainly equipment that assists marketers or translators to accomplish a motive. However, it is not a replacement for the old systems of translation, instead, it is a modification.
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