Posted on: April 19, 2022 by admin
Machine translation is a process whereby text is automatically translated from one language to another via a computer program. Because machine translation is an automated process, it can be used to translate large volumes of text without human input. While this sounds great in theory, anyone who has used Google Translate will know that machine translation also has its drawbacks.
It may surprise you that there are actually multiple types of machine translation that use different processes to produce translations. The four different machine translation types are:
Rules-based machine translation is the original form of machine translation, which uses grammatical rules to translate text. In simpler terms, it takes the given text and applies grammatical knowledge of the source/target language to create the translated content. This process can produce a lot of errors in translation and generally requires a lot of human input to create a high-quality translation. However, this simple machine translation method can be handy when only the general gist of the source text is required, or when very small sections of text are being translated.
Statistical machine translation works by drawing on large volumes of bilingual content to create a statistical model of the relationships between words, phrases and sentences. This allows the program to determine the correspondence between a word from the source language and a word from the target language and chooses a translation that is the most statistically likely. Statistical machine translation is generally more accurate than rules-based machine translation, but it is still prone to errors. Particularly due to its inability to take context into consideration when translating.
Syntax-based machine translation is a type of statistical machine translation. But rather than using individual words or strings of words, syntax-based translation uses syntactic units (word or group of words that functions as a single unit). The idea of using syntactic units rather than individual words is to increase the accuracy of the translation, although this form of translation is still prone to errors.
The most advanced type of machine translation is neural machine translation, which uses artificial intelligence to ‘learn’ languages. It uses neural networks that are based on the human brain to constantly evolve by integrating new information to improve the quality of the translation. Neural machine translation provides the most accurate machine translation currently available. However, though this technology is impressive, it cannot yet substitute human translation.
There’s no doubt that machine translation is an extremely useful tool. Some of the key benefits include:
Machine translation also has significant disadvantages, which means it isn’t appropriate for all translation jobs. The key disadvantages of machine translation are:
If you need content translated for professional use, you will almost always need to engage a human translator at some point in the process. However, machine translation can be useful in the right context. Factors to consider when deciding between human and machine translation include:
Most modern machine translation uses artificial intelligence software to instantly translate text from one language to another. While it can be extremely useful, it can be very prone to errors. If you need high-quality translation services, contact Speak Your Language today.