Translation is one of the world’s oldest professions, but the job has changed significantly in recent years. A generation ago, translators might have relied on their trusty dictionaries, thesauruses and typewriters as the tools of their trade.
But today, technology is having an increasing impact on the translator’s role. Computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools have become more sophisticated, with advanced translation memories saving time and effort. While machines are unlikely to ever replace human translators, the quality of output has increased dramatically.
Lingo24’s Coach translation software is designed to take CAT tools to a new level. It’s got a wide range of features designed to streamline the workflow, incorporating the latest translation memories and terminology databases. While the technology is still under development, it will allow new workflows and the facility for customers to specify exactly the quality level they require. It will also help recently-qualified translators improve their skills.
But what do translators who are using it think? We asked two of our trusted linguists for their feedback.
Andrey Pogorelov, who translates from English and German into Russian, said he had enjoyed using Coach so far, and it feels “much faster” than other popular CAT tools.
He said: “The main benefits of Coach for translators are its speed, usability and the fact that it has a lot of cool additional features like instant spell checking, a timer and a progress bar that will come in handy for reviewing jobs.”
Christian Schmitt, a native German speaker who translates from English, found it “easy to use” and “efficient”. One of Coach’s main benefits is the ability to use a Termbase, a database of specialist terminology. He preferred Coach to XTM translation software- but admitted he still loves working in Trados Studio 2011!
They both had some suggestions for improvement, including tools for converting units and support for German punctuation, which have been passed on to our development team.
Although some translators are wary of the impact of new technology, Christian welcomed the introduction of tools to make their work easier.
He said: “The translators will (hopefully) be able to concentrate more on their core work, which is translation, and not so much on formatting, and other time consuming work, like searching for fuzzy matches.
“Machine Translation won´t make the translation workflow much more efficient. In my opinion computer aided translation is much better. The translation work should remain in the hands of the translator – it’s way too complex for a machine.”
Andrey took a slightly different view, believing machine translation would be useful in some cases.
He said: “The quality of computer translation has improved greatly, and I really never thought machines would be able to do that. As I see it, in the near future there will be no need for human translation in certain areas, like technical manuals, between closer languages like Russian and Ukrainian, Italian and Romanian or even English and Spanish.
“But I don’t think that programmers will be able to ‘digitise’ the translation between more distant language pairs like English and Russian, as there are lots of semantical and cultural differences that will require human brains to be involved. That is why I’m not worried about my career!”
We’d like to thank all our translators who have helped us improve Coach so far. And we’ll continue to rely on their support and feedback as we further develop the software.
If you’re not a Lingo24 translator, then find out about joining our translation team.