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   Frequently Asked Questions Machine Translation Quality

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Where can I get information on improving machine translation quality?

Please click here to review our Machine Translation Tips, which provide a "primer".

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What tools to improve quality are included with Translution's software products?

  • Dictionaries of specialist terminology
  • Marking text as Do Not Translate
  • Dictionaries of Do Not Translate (DNT) terms such as names, brands, places etc
  • Tips on how to write text to improve the translation quality
  • Use of Translution's own dictionary of Not Found Words and common expressions
  • 20 Industry specific/specialized dictionaries

All our software products can also use translation memory and company specific dictionaries (dictionaries of translated terms and DNT terms which can be shared by all users) when requesting machine translation.


User Dictionaries

Everyone uses words and phrases that, to them, have particular meanings. For example: parts lists, where a specific translation is required for an individual part description. Translution users can use their own User Dictionaries, which control how the translation is handled.


Shared Dictionaries

Users of our business translation software (Translution Business, Translution MT API, Translution DB Manager, and Translution Localization Manager) can share dictionaries across their entire organization.


Translation Memory

Translation Memory (TM) is source and target human translations stored and aligned into segments (usually sentences or phrases) in a database. Using TM for machine translation can deliver consistent and perfect translations of "standard phrases".

Source documents are scanned at Translution Central and compared with the translation memory database before they are presented to the translation engines. If a 100% match Translation memory is found this is used in preference to the machine translation.

Translation Memory is also used by translators when using Translution Localization Manager. Storing, managing and using Translation Memory reduces the cost of translation services because source language matches do not need to be re–translated. It also ensures your translations are consistent.

All Translution's translation software products together with our translation services use Translation Memory.

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"Do Not Translate" lists

Translution's translation software provides a facility for the user to mark up text within a specific document that they do not want translated. It also provides Do Not Translate lists i.e. words which the user or the organization would never want translated.

Research undertaken by Professor Tony Hartley of the University of Leeds, shows that implementing 'Do Not Translate lists' improves local translation accuracy by, on average, 23%. (Ref: Improving Machine Translation Quality with Automatic Named Entity Recognition, EAMT Workshop at EACL 2003 Budapest 13 April 2003).


Managing Already Translated Text

It is essential that already translated text is not re–translated as this reduces overall translation quality. This is particularly important, when replying to or forwarding emails across language barriers as the quality of translation in long email threads can rapidly deteriorate.

Translution Business ensures this does not happen by always translating threads from the original source language text in email replies and forwarded messages. This capability is unique to Translution and has been patented on a worldwide basis.

As a result of our patented technologies, Translution is the only company that has a solution to the issues of translating emails in enterprises accurately where communication may be between people with different languages.

Translution Business also ensures already translated web pages and documents are not re–translated.


Handling "Not Found Words"

Machine Translation (MT) engines are usually supplied with dictionaries of the most common words used in a language. However no MT engine could possibly include all the words in a language. Until these words are translated and added to the dictionaries of MT engines held centrally, they will not be recognized by the translation engines and will simply pass through un–translated.

As part of its ongoing commitment to improve translation quality, Translution collects and analyses 'Not Found Words' generated by users and, after researching them, continuously adds selected new words and phrases to Translution dictionaries. We also add common idiomatic phrases and their translations.

Translution dictionaries are automatically made available to all users of our translation software, improving translation quality for all.

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Specialized Dictionaries

We provide 20 specialized dictionaries which can be used automatically by selecting a dictionary profile. Easy to set up and used in conjunction with your own dictionaries these improve accuracy of translation.

Dictionaries supported include: Automotive, Aviation/Space, Chemistry, Colloquial, Computers/Data Processing, Earth Sciences, Economics/Business, Electronics, Food Sciences, Legal, Life Sciences, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, Medicine, Metallurgy, Military Science, Naval/Maritime, Photography/Optics, Physics/Atomic Energy, Political Science.


Dictionary Profiles

Organizations using our business products (Translution Web, Translution Localization Manager and Translution Machine Translation API) can use up to 12 dictionaries at any time organized in order of priority.

We therefore enable users to set up a dictionary profile — a bit like setting up a style sheet — which when selected applies rules of priority to which dictionaries are used and their order of importance.

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Is machine translation accurate?

The translations accuracy is increased dramatically by using the provided tools outlined above.

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What is Translation Memory?

Translation Memory (TM) is source and target human translations stored and aligned into segments (usually sentences or phrases) in a database. Using TM ensures delivery of consistent and perfect translations of "standard phrases" when using machine translation. This is perfect for some applications, such as support centers where there is a high proportion of standard responses with some personalization to customer support calls, or for documents like standard proposals.

Source documents are scanned at Translution Central and compared with the translation memory database before they are presented to the translation engines. If a 100% match Translation memory is found to a source segment this is used in preference to the machine translation.

Translation Memory is also used by translators when using Translution Localization Manager. Storing, managing and using Translation Memory reduces the cost of translation services as we do not charge for repetitions and 100% matches. It also ensures your professional (human) translations are consistent.

All Translution's translation software products together with our services use Translation Memory.

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Does Machine Translation remove the need for human translation?

For day to day communication and comprehension, enhanced machine translation can be used in place of human translation.

However, where translation accuracy and fluency is necessary e.g. for final legal documents and marketing material and websites, professional (human) translation is advised. This is also the recommended quality of translation for all published documents and text.

Translution can provide advice on what type of translation is appropriate by contacting us or telephoning us. Alternatively for further guidance please click here.

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Can the machine translation software handle idiomatic phrases?

Users can add idiomatic phrases that they use regularly to their dictionaries as fixed expressions.

We advise that you avoid using idiomatic expressions whenever possible when you write as, without the use of a dictionary entry, the translations tend to be poor. Click here for tips on how to write for translation.

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Which machine translation engines are Translution using to provide translations?

We use Systran.

Systran can be improved by using customer dictionaries and translation memories much quicker and at a much lower cost than other types of machine translation such as statistical machine translation.

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What can machine translation be used for?

For further information on what machine translation can be used for and where post edited translation should be used click here

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