Each of the specialised translators at LKT has undergone years of education and training to reach the level of competence necessary for the texts we deal with. And this is precisely the advantage of commissioning a project to a human translator. We are skilled at researching a subject down to the nuts and bolts so that your translation is as faithful as possible to the original author’s intent. What’s more, we are rational actors who can make decisions on content according to a client’s defined brief.
But in the modern age there is no shortage of translation technology tools which can help us to harness our abilities quicker and more effectively. These, of course, remove a lot of the administrative fluff that gets in the way of what we do best: translation.
COMPUTER ASSISTED TRANSLATION (CAT)
We use various translation technology tools to enhance our translation skills and reduce the time taken doing onerous admin tasks. Computer-assisted translation (or CAT for short) refers to a piece of software which divides texts up into useful chunks, or “segments”, which are stored in a Translation Memory (a kind of database). This ensures that we never translate the same sentence twice, saving time and money.
CAT tools also give you the option of integrating a terminology database to ensure accuracy and consistency. It is important to note, however, that such systems do not translate the text for us automatically; they merely provide us with the best platform for supplying you with the quality your content deserves.
MACHINE TRANSLATION – SORTING THE TRUTH FROM THE HYPE
With the ongoing development of artificial intelligence, much has been said about the rise of machine translation (MT) and its implications in our industry. We have all heard of the mythical universal translator from the Star Trek universe, or the Babel fish from Douglas Adams’ works. But are modern MT systems anything like the panaceas featured in popular fiction?
Of course, translation technology has come a very long way. Statistical MT engines like those from Google and Bing now produce far better results than some of the early attempts in the 1980s. However, computers lack a lot of things that human translators take for granted: intuition and knowledge of culture. A well trained, educated translator with expertise in your particular field will outperform machine translation every time. And that matters, especially when it comes to the message you want to send to the world. So if you’re looking for quality, then you would be wise to take automated translation systems with more than a grain of salt!