Machines and Humans Working Together
It was only a couple of centuries ago that the general perception in industrialised countries was that machines might be starting to take over the world.
It was only a couple of centuries ago that the general perception in industrialised countries was that machines might be starting to take over the world. It’s true that they were certainly creeping up more and more into activities that had previously been considered the arena of highly skilled humans.
So worrying was this trend that, in England, a resistance movement was born against this trend: they were called the Luddites because the signature on their pamphlets was ‘King Ludd’. Members of this movement were responsible for destroying many machines, mostly in the textile industry, before they were finally suppressed by the government.
There’s Still a Degree of Resistance against the Use of Machines
Today we see a more rational resistance against the use of machines, whereby it’s more a general criticism of technology products and the poor quality associated with them. An example of this is the ongoing campaign against fast food: around the world gourmets are very resentful of the fact that people can, and do, sell their good taste (and some would say good health) for just a few coins.
Machine Plus Post-Editing Has Become an Accepted Technology
These types of discussions have been ongoing in the translation industry for quite a while; and the question still remains – are we making any progress? Well, we know fast food is here to stay, so perhaps machine translation combined with post-editing should now be accepted as an established technology. This combination certainly makes sense from the point of view of both the service provider and the client. Perhaps even from the point of view of translators as well.
New Skills for Translators to Learn
Either way, the overriding message is that human intervention is certainly not becoming obsolete in the field of translation, perhaps unlike other branches of industry. In fact, it’s quite the contrary, because of the crucial post-editing stage of machine translations. Now, it seems that there are new skills for translators to learn to become effective and proficient post-editors.
An experience translation company would advise either for or against the use of this technology, depending on the specific constraints of the project concerned, particularly the nature of the material to be translated.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding these issues, please don’t hesitate to contact us at One Hour Translation. We have highly skilled, professional translators ready to take your instructions. And of course, we are always happy to provide an obligation free quotation for any of your translation projects.
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International Translation Day is held in celebration of the feast of St Jerome, the Bible translator widely considered the patron saint of translators. The International Federation of Translators is the promoter of International Translation Day, and has been since it was first held in 1953.
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