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Machine Translation (MT) – Do You Buy These 3 Common Myths?

By January 23, 2013 July 21st, 2016 No Comments

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Here’s a well written article on Machine Translation (MT) that presents further evidence that MT is not “coming”, it is here!.

Dispelling 3 Common Myths about Machine Translation (MT)

Machine Translation has endured a questionable reputation over the years, and it is understandable.

For a profession/craft (translation) that touts accuracy and cultural appropriateness as the two main indicators of quality for final output, relying on a tool that only gets you a percentage of the way there, a percentage of the time seems the antithesis to what you are trying to accomplish.

However, each year it seems MT is improving – when in the right hands and applied to the right content with the right process.

So, let’s discuss these three myths and common misconceptions about Machine Translation, and help clarify MT’s applicability.

Myth #1: “Machine Translation will be useful in the future, but we’re not there yet.”

Not necessarily true. What is impressive is that many companies and other organizations (see list in complete article here) report that using MT has helped them cut turnaround times and costs for MT-related projects. Please keep in mind that none of these companies use MT exclusively and some do employ post-editing effort to reach a final product.

Myth #2: “Machine Translation quality is so bad, that any translations done by machine are useless.”

As you’ll see in this complete article professionals from companies like Adobe, Autodesk, Caterpillar, Cisco, Citrix, Dell, eBay explain how MT is both useful & applicable today and the quality can be acceptable (or above par) in certain scenarios.

Myth #3: “Machine Translation will replace human translators.”

Never say “never”, but it is highly unlikely Machine Translation will replace human translators in our lifetime. Machine Translation is not a disruptive innovation.

Human translators will not suffer the same fate as film cameras, cassette tapes and floppy disks!

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