The field of translation is not immune to changes that have taken place globally and one of the most significant ones is the use of machine translations. This type of translation does exist and the use of it has increased markedly throughout the translation industry in recent years. Post-editing is linked to machine translations as it is defined as the process used for editing automatic translations.
Google translations despite their shortcomings they do help to create translation memories that can be referred to time and time again when translating documents. This, of course, doesn’t mean there are no roles left for human translators, far from it as post-editors take on the role of checking text that has been translated by Google Translate and other machine translation devices.
What is Expected from Post-Editing?
Because post-editing involves correcting output from machine translations it helps to ensure that each translation reaches the quality that the client has requested. The aim of light post-editing is to make sure the text can be understood. The aim of a more detail-oriented post-editing is to make the text more stylistically appropriate. As machine translations advance, even more, a full post-edit is now offered as an alternative to the use of a human translator who performs manual translations. Just about every computer-assisted translation (CAT) tool now supports the post-editing of output created by machine translations.
The post-editing task has to be approached as if it is a regular editing job. The post-editor should take the translated text that has been created by an automatic translator and polish it up in exactly the same way that a human translated text would be treated. The fact that automatic translation devices were used to create the translation in the first place certainly doesn’t mean that any editor is allowed to reduce the role of the editing process. Far from it as documents produced by machine translation tools typically require more attention than usual when post-editing a document created by an online automatic translation tool because it knowingly fails to offer a perfect translation.
When Post-Editing should be used
The kinds of text which appear to be best suited for AT are scientific or technical documents which are limited to a specific range of vocabulary. Limited means that there is only a limit to the number of meanings which can be used for one single world. On the contrary literary texts are the texts that are less suited to machine translation tools because they often don’t present a clear meaning. Often when post-editing of literary translations takes place the translator comes up with a variety of meanings.
Machine Translations are Commonplace Today
So far there is no real proof that machines have the capability of replacing human translators. Post-editing is the process used for editing an automatic translation and it should be treated as if it was just an ordinary post-editing task. It’s the post editor’s job to take aside the text that has been automatically translated and polish and perfect in the same way any translation done by a human being. Even though the translation was mastered utilising translation tools this doesn’t mean the editor assigned to the job should adapt the editing quality. In many cases, it may be far more important to pay even more attention to the editing process because a translation machine does not have the ability to analyse the text and find the most appropriate words.
The use of Post-Editing with Scientific and Technical Texts
Technical or scientific documents which use limited vocabulary are two sorts of text that are the most suitable for an automatic translation. What is meant by limited is the number of meanings that can be used for a word? Today, the scientific and technical fields use an array of complex language but with each word, there is a limit to the number of potential meanings. This makes it easier for machine translators to produce an accurate translation. However, it is still necessary to post-edit the final translation.
Many translation services have translators and post-editors on their books who specialise in working with different types of scientific and technical documents. They specialise in areas such as automotive, medical, various types of engineering disciplines, aerospace and much more. The translators can use machine translations for many of the texts while the post-editor sieves through the translations to make sure they are correct and accurate.
The use of Post-Editing with Literary Texts
Literary texts, like novels and poems, require more editing after translations than many other texts because there are often different ways of interpreting the text. If machine translation tools were used this would make the job of the post-editor far too difficult and could end up with the person having to complete an entirely new translation. Overall, literary texts are best left to specialist human translators.