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What are the Options for Automated Translation?

automation assisted translation

While human talents won’t be disappearing from translations any time soon, automation can help streamline some parts of the translation process. It may seem strange for a translation company to recommend automating parts of the translation process, but we believe that when used strategically, automation in translation can save you time and money.

Translation Technology

As automated translation technologies get better and smarter, they can help take care of early-stage and not-for-publication tasks. Their usefulness depends on the task, and we’ve previously written that automated technologies are most useful for translating large chunks of texts with predictable vocabularies and regular grammar and syntax.

We’ve previously recommended Google Translate type machine translation for translating technical and informational texts, or for the early stages of a large translation project that will involve human translators in the review stage (since machine translation’s results range from nearly-there to hilariously off). So automated translation algorithms can help in the early stages of producing a translation.

There are also technologies that can help divide up a text into categories that a machine can easily read. And this doesn’t require a human eye — customizable filters can go through texts and sort content into translatable and not-to-be-translated categories.

Software that converts file types can be an important asset, too — if file conversion is automated, that saves your translators’ time and allows them to focus on higher-level translation tasks, rather than moving files around.

Workflow Technology

But wait, there’s more! Software and technologies that allow translators to automatically manage content, projects, and internal reviews can also help make creating translations easier.

Integrating your content management system (CMS) with a translation management system (TMS) can help you automate website translation, by eliminating the process of preparing and transferring the files among translators. Because everyone is using the same system and the software takes care of scheduling and transfers, you save time and reduce the risk of errors in translation.

Similarly, translation partners such as Venga, have created customized client portals for managing and tracking projects. Individualized portals help cut out the emails and file transfers, while providing up-to-the-minute budgeting, tracking, and metrics like Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Since everything can be accessed through the portal, clients can initiate projects, approve quotes, and check in on their projects with ease. This saves you time, money, and hassle, while also keeping important documentation of the translation process.

Automating the Review Process

Finally, when it comes time to review the translations, automated technology can yet again help save you time and money. We’ve found two pieces of software particularly helpful in automating our review process.

JIRA is a task-ticketing system initially built to track bugs in software development, but we’ve adapted it to simplify client queries and issue tracking as our translations progress. Because it allows for automated sorting and tagging, we use it to keep questions about terminology in specific categories. This means that we can point translators with similar issues to past tickets for quick answers. It’s like a constantly-growing database of personalized translation advice.

When our linguists use JIRA for LQA /linguistic sign-off tracking, they can log issues as tickets in JIRA. Automating and streamlining the software means that our linguists’ questions can be answered on a rolling basis, rather than waiting until the end of translation. Additionally, the program automatically sends a screenshot of the problem to make the issue clear and sets up the format for a report automatically. This tool allows Venga’s Project Managers to respond quickly and know right away if a bug needs to be fixed or if the client needs clarification.

We also use automated proofing tools to make the reviewing process simpler for both client and internal reviewers. In-context review tools, like those that integrate with InDesign, help us skip the headaches that can come from software version control, copying and pasting, sending large files over email, and other small administrative tasks.

We use these technologies to produce our translations, but they’re also adaptable to your needs as well. With so many great translation-assistance tools available, there are lots of ways to automate the translation process and save money!

If you’re interested in automating part of your translation process or finding out what machine translation can do for you, give us a call or request a quote.

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