Machine Translation: Capabilities and Limitations


As of as we speak, machine translation (MT) can nonetheless be outlined because the holy grail of computational linguistics. Whereas simple that this self-discipline has seen a big progress within the final decade (particularly with the introduction of statistical strategies), translation between morphologically-rich languages stays a particularly difficult activity. Statistical MT tries to generate translations via statistical procedures primarily based on big bilingual textual content corpora.

There’s typically confusion between the phrases “computer-aided translation” and “machine translation”. Machine translation is an automated course of that can all the time return a translation outcome for any given supply textual content, generally one that’s helpful, fairly often one that doesn’t match the context, and in some circumstances even a direct copy of the supply textual content (every time the interpretation can’t be resolved). Laptop-aided translation is, alternatively, the commonest kind of human translation, whereby a human linguist takes care of the interpretation course of utilizing pc software program that’s particularly designed to assist and facilitate this activity. There’s a third idea gaining relevance in the previous couple of years: “postediting.” This method goals to collect the very best virtues of each modes by bettering an automated translation with a certain quantity of handbook enhancing.

Since automated translation interprets texts with out the help of skilled translators or native audio system who can discern the nuances and affect of context, it is very important keep in mind that the accuracy and appropriateness of the outcomes will not be assured. Human language is filled with ambiguities, exceptions, performs on phrases, refined expressions, errors, and logical associations that computer systems can’t deal with (at the least in 2011).

All this stated, there are good issues to say about machine translation. In sure eventualities, it may be adequate to get an imprecise translation that reveals what the textual content is about with out every little thing being translated accurately. And, on the similar time, there are circumstances the place it may be extra vital to get the outcome at once than to get a great translation. One simple method to perceive what these methods can provide is by having them translate into your native language.

The benefits of machine translation in comparison with the work of human translators may very well be summarized as: price, pace and mathematical consistency.

Firms contemplating utilizing machine translation ought to spend an inexpensive period of time evaluating its capabilities and limitations, and assessing its personalized implementation of their day by day workflow. In case you are contemplating adopting machine translation in your workflow, it’s advisable to debate your plans with an expert translation or localization firm.


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