Why Post-Editing Is Important to Translation

By Stacey
Dec 25, 2015 · 3 min

There’s no denying that technology has been moving rapidly in all directions, and the field of translation is no exception.

Why Post-Editing Is Important to Translation | One Hour Translation

There’s no denying that technology has been moving rapidly in all directions, and the field of translation is no exception.

Machine translation was almost never used outside a laboratory setting, that is until the 1970s. It was at this time that we saw the use of machine translation spreading, perhaps just out of curiosity and maybe a little out of necessity. Today, what began as an experiment has now become a reality in the translation industry.

Machine Translations Are Becoming More Widely Used

We understand that, at this point in time, machines are not able to replace human translators; however, we can’t pretend that machine translations don’t exist. They do exist, and they’re being used increasingly more by translation agencies, translators, and clients. And this is where we get the term post-editing from.

Post-editing is simply the process of editing automatic translations. As an example; we might work with Google translate within a bilingual document and use Trados - at the same time creating a translation memory which will possibly come in handy for future reference. Segment by segment, the automatic translation is displayed as we run the commands. It’s vitally important that the editor’s task be carried out efficiently, because human interpretation of the machine translated content must be carried out.

Post-Editing Should Be a Regular Editing Task

From the point of view of the finished product, the task of post-editing should be approached as a regular editing task. It’s the editor’s responsibility to take the automatically translated text and perfect and polish it the same way they would edit any translation completed by a human being. Just because the translation was completed using translation tools doesn’t mean that the editor should lower the editing quality. In fact, in many cases it’s probably more important to pay even stricter attention to editing, because a translation machine has no analysis capabilities.

When Should Post-Editing Be Used?

Scientific or technical documents with limited vocabulary are two types of text that are best suited for automatic translation. When we say limited, we mean the number of meanings that a word can have. Today, we’re constantly facing the complexities of the scientific and technical fields, but we also understand that the higher the degree of technical complexity, the more specific the translation of specific words must be - and it’s more likely that the translation machine will select the right word.

Literary Works Are Not Really Suited for Machine Translation

Types of texts that are not really recommended for machine translation are literary works, meaning poems, novels, and so on, because they require great interpretive qualities; plus, the author’s intention is always a key element in literature. At the end of the day, the post-editing task would end up being so big and so complicated that the whole document would end up being re-translated.

In the meantime, and to continue adapting to the progress of our industry, we acknowledge that this trend is still growing, particularly when it comes to industrial translations.

Scientific and Technical Translations

One Hour Translation specializes in Scientific, Technical, Aerospace, Automotive, Medical, Engineering, and Academic Translations. All our scientific and technical translators are required to have the relevant experience or degree in their specific field. Why not contact One Hour Translation today and allow our highly experienced and professional translators assist with your next translation project. We’re happy to provide an obligation-free quotation.

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