To cheque, or not to cheque: do you need your machine translation validated?

Machine translation tools are great when used properly. But to produce a good result, it’s best to understand what kind of texts they work well with, where they struggle, and where we need professional translators to intervene. Let’s find out more about their pros and cons.


What are machine translation tools good at?


Machine translation tools are great at quickly producing large volumes of translated text, at a fraction of the price of a human translation. They’re great for internal documents, where you just need to understand the basics.


What are machine translation tools not so good at?


Some tools are able to produce more human-sounding text, by mimicking casual or formal writing style, but it’s still best to approach machine translation for creative texts with caution. Machines don’t understand context, or cultural nuances, aren’t that imaginative, and don’t get jokes. Sometimes the results can be very literal. It’s also worth bearing in mind that results differ depending on the languages you’re working in. Many are better at translating into English than the other way around.


Where do humans come in?


For technical documentation, manuals, guides, and presentations, machine translation can be a useful tool – although it’s best to involve professional translators at this stage to ensure a higher level of accuracy and fluency.


How Dialogue can help with machine translation validation


We work with paid machine translation tools which produce good results, can handle large volumes of text, and are compatible with complex file formats.


Depending on your needs, we can offer a range of different service levels: from a raw, untouched machine translation to help you understand the gist, to a light post-editing focussed on the accuracy of the text, and a heavier post-editing service that produces a higher level of accuracy and fluency.


Unsure about how much human involvement you need? We can help you get the best results from the latest translation technology. Let’s talk about your requirements, and see what we can do.

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