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The future of translation technology lies in capitalising on the abilities of AI.

The Evolution of Translation Technology: Unveiling the Future of Language Transformation

In the digital age, the world is more connected than ever before, fostering a growing need for seamless communication across diverse languages and cultures. It’s said that translating your website for these four countries is estimated to give you access to 50% of worldwide sales potential: United States, China, Japan, and Germany. Translation technology will help you tap into this massive global market, and its evolution has been nothing short of revolutionary, transforming the way we bridge linguistic barriers and amplify global connectivity.  

One significant leap came forward in 2016 with Google Translates’ introduction of neural machine translation (NMT). This milestone marked a commercial shift, propelling the field forward and setting the stage for further advancements. Since then, the focus has centred on refining neural machine translation models, consistently outperforming traditional statistical machine translation methods.  

Translation technology has diversified, offering a spectrum of tools designed to enhance the translation process. These tools can be categorised into three main types: 

1. Computer-Assisted Translation (CAT):


CAT tools revolutionise translation by empowering translators with databases of previous translations, glossaries, and advanced search tools. This technology streamlines the process, allowing translators to focus on the linguistic nuances and complexities, freeing them from repetitive tasks. By automating repetitive elements, CAT tools elevate translators to apply specialised linguistic and subject-matter expertise. 

2. Machine Translation (MT):

MT, powered by artificial intelligence, offers an automated system for generating translated content. It encompasses rule-based, statistical and neural approaches. While machine translation excels in speed and cost-efficiency, its output quality varies based on language pairs, subject matter and available training data. Raw machine translation suits low impact content, while human post-editing ensures accuracy for high-impact or sensitive material.

3. Translation Management Systems (TMS):

TMS platforms streamline translation project management, supporting multiple languages, real-time collaboration, and integration with computer-assisted translation tools and machine translation. These systems ensure an organised workflow and scalability, facilitating efficient translation project handling.  

Europe is home to the largest language services market in the world, comprising almost half of the global market at 49%. The advancement in translation technology has redefined the translation landscape, rendering the process more efficient, cost-effective and scalable so that the industry is able to grow at such a rate. Yet, the decision between machine and human translation remains pivotal, each offering distinct strengths and considerations. 

Technology translation is a balancing act between AI and human translators.

Human translation, executed by professional linguists and subject-matter experts, guarantees accuracy, particularly for intricate documents like legal or technical content. Human translators can decipher linguistic nuances, ensuring cultural authenticity, and infusing creativity into the translations.  

However, machine translation, rapidly evolving AI algorithms, offers unparalleled speed and cost-efficiency. While it might lack the nuanced touch of human translators, it excels in quick turnarounds and projects where contextual accuracy might be secondary.  

The Balancing Act of Translation Technology

Modern TMS’ often blend both approaches, offering users flexibility in choosing the most suitable method for their specific needs. This hybrid model involves leveraging machine translation as a starting point, followed by human post-editing to ensure that AI is doing its job correctly.  

The future of translation undoubtedly lies in this balance between human intelligence and AI-powered translation. Machine-translation post-editing will guarantee accuracy and fluency and will take care of most of the grunt work that humans find repetitive. Then, the human translators will provide the final creative touches tailored for specific audiences.    The future of translation technology now relies heavily on video translation.

Additionally, the future lies in video translation. Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic, individuals’ usage of video platforms has skyrocketed. The statistics show that 82% of global internet traffic in 2022 came from videos.  

In this evolving landscape, the key lies in balancing factors like content nature, desired accuracy level, project objectives, budget, and time constraints. Assessing these considerations and understanding the advantages and limitations of human and machine translation will pave the way for informed decisions, aligning with individual or team requirements and aspirations. 

As we journey toward a future where human intellect harmonises with AI-driven capabilities, translation technology continues to redefine global communication, propelling us toward a world united by language. 

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