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What is MTPE and when should you use it?

Introduction #

As explained in the previous post, Machine Translation (MT) is automated translation of texts and documents generated by computer, engine, software or application. The process is fast, automatic and unpolished.

Meanwhile, Post-Editing (PE) refers to the act of revamping, revising and reviewing the machine-generated texts performed by human linguists.

In essence, machine translation post-editing (MTPE) is an intelligent hybrid solution combining machine output and human touch.

Example of use cases #

So, when is the perfect time to use MTPE?

When you are seeking a Cost-effective language solution to process Large volume of content within a Short time with Guaranteed high-quality, that’s when you should consider using MTPE for your project.

Most of the time, MTPE is the go-to solution for big chunks of Engineering, IT, Technical, Electronics and Automotive texts because they are relatively repetitive and need to adopt specific terminologies to ensure consistency and familiarity.

Types of MTPE #

  • Light MTPE: The post-editor addresses and corrects any mistranslations, missing translations, spelling mistakes and inconsistencies to make sure the target text is accurate and comprehensible.
  • Full MTPE: The post-editor modifies and refines the AI-generated text in a thorough manner, ranging from accuracy, fluency and style to tone, cohesion and coherence, with the goal that the target text reaches a quality near human output.

Advantages of MTPE #

  • Faster turnarounds: With pre-translations provided by MT, the overall processing time to deliver a professional translation has been effectively shortened.
  • Increased productivity: Integrating MT in the translation process can help linguists translate quicker in less time.
  • Same high-quality: “PE” in “MTPE” is aimed to fine-tune the target content until its final quality is comparable to a quality level that can be obtained through human translations. 
  • Affordable price: Shorter processing time leads to more economical translation costs.

Conclusion #

We still haven’t got to that point where we can confidently use a 100% machine-translated text for publications and advertisements because almost all machines today will still translate “I have a letter” as in the sense of “I have a [piece of message sent in an envelope]” rather than “I have a [character representing an alphabet]” – in which the former one is totally acceptable as a stand-alone translation, but it may be inappropriate for the actual context.

That’s why “PE” is always there after “MT”. With a creative human touch, you can achieve human parity on your translations with reduced cost in a shorter time (though “human parity achieved” still remains an interesting topic to discuss in depth).

Remember, MT itself is not so bad when you are just trying to understand that one-sentence meme from Spanish to English. But, it could get super risky for your brand when you rely solely and entirely on “MT” for the translations of your business materials without “PE”. Low-quality MT can cause an undesired reputation crisis.

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