There are two main uses for technology within the translation sector. They are: Machine Translation (MT) and Computer Aided Translation (CAT). The two share a common goal of making the translation process more efficient and cost effective but have widely differing results. At Teneo, we embrace the use of technology where it can make an impact on efficiencies but only if the quality of the end result can be guaranteed. Therefore, whilst we have adopted the use of CAT, we do not use MT in any of our processes.
This is because the quality of MT is, at best, patchy. It is fine if you are chatting on facebook and need a quick translation for a small number of words; however, for longer, professional texts, it is wholly unsuitable.
The vast majority of work that we undertake is for clients who need their communications to be perfect in both the source and target languages. Can you imagine the consequences of a mistake in the drawing up of legal documents, or the translation of marketing assets for a new product launch?
However, the poor reputation of MT quality should not prevent us from using technology where it can enhance the translation process.
Computer Aided Translation
We therefore use CAT (Computer Aided Translation) tools where we believe they can enhance the workflow of the human who creates our translations. When applied correctly, CAT can:
- improve localisation productivity
- lower translation costs
- reduce time to market
However, we understand that technology is not the end in itself but merely a tool which needs to be retained in human hands in order to give the benefits of which it is capable. We have all had a ‘Google Translate’ experience where you input a phrase or word and instead of the “Swan” you were expecting, you get a “coat stand”…or some such. With our system, this never happens as it is picked up and corrected by the translator and proofreader.