When Machine Translation (MT) is implemented in a Localization workflow, the potential loss of quality in the final translated product can be a concern for all parties involved in the project. Therefore, it is important to make every effort to ensure that at the end of the project the linguistic quality does not suffer.
Translation is not a hard science. There is no single result to your linguistic equation, and while accuracy will always remain one of our primary concerns, the richness of each language allows for a great deal of flexibility. This also means that sometimes, our clients wish to send us corrections.
You will often hear that the usual metric is around 2,000 words translated per day by a professional translator. However, this should only be seen as a rough indicator for a project, as this can vary greatly (and thus increase or decrease), depending on three main points: type of content, quality of potential legacy translations, and contextual information.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,” once quoted the late Nelson Mandela, a South African political revolutionary who eventually became president of South Africa. The world is becoming increasingly educated – K-12 enrollment (male and female) on a global scale was 89.84% in 2016, compared to 77.93% in 2000, according to UNESCO. K-12 educational materials are becoming digitized, allowing them to be distributed more easily and cost effectively. Translation of K-12 educational materials is also on the rise – high quality K-12 educational materials developed in one language can greatly enhance educational quality around the world if made available in other languages.
When you have been in your specific industry for any amount of time, acronyms and abbreviations begin to creep up in your everyday speech. This is because you know what they are meant to represent in your industry and in your own organization, and that your colleagues will understand what you say. Acronyms and abbreviations exist in all areas of life from medicine to religion, but can complicate document translation, among other types of localization.
But why do we tend to use acronyms and abbreviations so often?
One of the greatest challenges for technical writers is avoiding idioms and slang that you are accustomed to using on a regular basis. When writing content for translation into other languages, those common phrases and sayings end up making a unique challenge for translators, taking longer to research and translate and costing you more.
As a technical writer, you probably have extensive knowledge of your product specs and design details, but you probably also know that that knowledge is worthless if you can’t communicate it properly.
“From there to here and here to there, funny things are everywhere” – Dr. Seuss (an American author, political cartoonist, poet, animator, publisher, and artist, best known for his children’s books).
The typical work day of an English to French translator is marked with many linguistic dilemmas. One of those quandaries is whether to translate specialized terms with newly created French equivalents – officially normalized neologisms, if you will – or to leave them in English in the middle of a localized sentence in order to obtain the best translation quality.