The world of machine translation is constantly changing, with new ideas and developments surfacing almost on a daily basis. As a result, we have been busy talking to our new and existing clients about machine translation, polishing our processes and planning future developments that will not only help us stay competitive in this area but also excel in terms of speed and quality returned by our engines.
Keeping up to date with the fast moving area of machine translation is no easy task but it is an exciting one as well! We have not stopped in the past few months and a brief summary of what has been keeping us busy can be found below.
The end of August brought the expansion of our post-edited machine translation offering. We added a number of new languages, including Catalan, Danish, Greek, Hungarian, Turkish and Thai. This also means that we are now actively looking for post-editors in the newly added language combinations. If you are interested in working with us or know someone who might be, please follow this link.
By expanding our language coverage we aim to better serve our clients, who have demonstrated growing needs for fast turnaround times and large volumes, as well as provide our linguists with opportunities to work on varied projects and master their post-editing skills. We are looking forward to adding even more languages to the list in the future!
What is more, we continue to provide post-edited machine translation to a high street fashion client – Arcadia, a group of brands including Topshop, Topman and Dorothy Perkins. Our main target languages are French and German and the subject matter that we handle requires very specific terminology and writing style. Luckily, we have a strong team of post-editors working on these brands, who continuously support us with their excellent knowledge of the required tone of voice and their fashion expertise. Every month, we post-edit 160,000 words on average in both language combinations.
Last month, we also launched a large post-edited machine translation project for a luxury hotel group from English into German, Spanish, Simplified Chinese and Japanese. We have been trusted to localise just under 600,000 source words by the 17th of September. Since it is a website translation, we have selected post-editors who have strong marketing skills as well as excellent expertise in tourism. We are excited to hear their impressions from working on this project when it is all finished.
Since mid-July, we have also been running tests for a large Irish clothing retailer, trialling post-edited machine translation from English into six European languages. By monitoring how the machine translation engines perform on the specific content we translate for this fashion brand, we are aiming to unveil whether providing post-edited machine translation will prove a sustainable service option for this client in the long term.
The initial results seem promising with the average post-editing distance – the percentage of raw MT output that required editing – varying between 38% for English into Dutch and 28% from English into Italian. That means that between 62 and 72% of the raw machine translation output was ready to be published without any editing, which already gives an extra productivity boost to the linguists.
In mid-September, we are meeting another one of our regular fashion clients, for whom we currently translate product descriptions into 13 different languages, to discuss a possibility to migrate to the post-edited machine translation service.
With the need for skilled resources constantly growing, our Talent Management team has been busy recruiting and training post-editors in different language combinations. We currently have 291 post-editors in our database across all language directions, with the highest number of post-editors – 60 – offering their services in English into French. The second most popular language combination is English into German, in which we currently have 40 registered post-editors.
And finally some numbers…
We have been noticing an overall increase in the number of machine translation and post-edited machine translation projects coming our way. In the third quarter of 2017, we machine translated 1.4m words and post-edited just short of 10,000 words. This year, with the third quarter not being over yet, we have already machine translated over four times as many words and post-edited nearly three times as many words as in the July-September period last year. To date, as a company we have machine translated over 22m words and post-edited over 2.5m words.
All the signs seems to suggest that our customers are becoming more and more aware and interested in the machine translation area, which presents us with an exciting opportunity to not only grow as a business but also be part of a bigger AI evolution that is taking place in the world.