Advancements in technology and word processing are seeing machine language translation take the traditional transfer of content from one language into another to a different level. Nowadays, the translation of set phrases and keywords from almost any language combination is just a simple click away. Yet, many a translator will have an opinion about the quality of that ‘different level’ and the question remains; is machine translation a long-lost friend to be treasured or a foe waiting to strike?
How do you say “May the force be with you” in Navajo?
Translation and interpreting are complicated – and expensive – processes in the European Union. Each year, the EU translates a staggering 1.76 million pages, at a cost of £357 million. In recent years, the number of translators has risen from around 200 to an estimated 3,000.
Choosing the perfect name for a new product is never easy. Global companies pour millions of pounds into marketing campaigns to launch products around the world. But surprisingly, many still make the mistake of choosing a name that fails to work across borders.
Today more businesses operate across borders than ever before. The need for fast, cost-effective translation is growing rapidly – and the translation industry is adapting to keep up.
In an increasingly globalised economy the need for translation has never been greater. More and more of the world is getting online – and most of them speak languages other than English. But this creates challenges for businesses looking for a quick and affordable way to overcome language barriers.
Post-editing, or the editing done to improve machine-translated content to a publishable quality, has long been part of the translation repertoire in one form or another. However, with an increasing presence of machine translation (MT) in our everyday lives, there has been recent debate and uncertainty about the role of the translator vis-à-vis MT and post-editing.
Fairly recently, I reviewed David Bellos’ 2011 book Is That a Fish in Your Ear: Translation and the Meaning of Everything for the Machine Translation journal. While you might be interested in the review (Way, 2012), you should definitely buy the book; it’s great!