16/06/2022 /Category

What Is Hybrid Machine Translation?

Researchers have used hybrid machine translation processes to address issues with traditional approaches. By combining rules-based machine translation with statistical methods, they’ve increased reliability and accuracy. Back then, hybrid machine translation referred to combining two or more machine translation approaches into one system. 

However, innovators in the language and technology sectors have now assigned another definition to hybrid translation. Human translation + Machine translation.


What Is Hybrid Machine Translation? 

Hybrid machine translation is a process that combines both human post-editing and machine translation methods, such as statistical generation and neural machine translation. This system creates one efficient workflow and accentuates the strengths of both machine translation and human translation. 

Human-machine translation produces more accurate and nuanced results than either method could achieve on its own. Many leading companies are already using hybrid translation to expand their market reach to a global level. Experts around the world point to it as the future of translation. 

Hybrid Translation, Speed & Awareness

Machine translation is much faster and more scalable than human translation. It can handle large volumes of text quickly and consistently, reducing your business costs. However, it cannot bring emotional, creative, or cultural awareness to translation. 

Human translators provide accuracy and fluency that machines cannot match. They also have an in-depth understanding of culture and context, which is essential for producing natural-sounding translations. But human translations cost more and take longer than machines.

So what’s the answer to this catch-22? Human-machine translation, also known as post-editing, gives businesses the best of both worlds. Speed, cultural awareness, and overall quality. 

Lee Densmer from RWS, a top localization company, recently said, “Companies need to understand that there are two sides of the same coin: with one offering context and empathy and the other delivering unmatched efficiency and volume.” 


Business Advantages of Using Hybrid Translation

  • Save money 

  • Faster time to market 

  • Scalable solution for large-scale projects

  • Localization 

  • Global team collaboration

  • Superior quality 

  • Cultural awareness

  • Supports multiple content types & languages


How Does Hybrid Translation (Post-Editing) Work? 

Put simply, a machine translates your text, and a human translator performs post-editing on the machine’s output to ensure quality. However, the process is much more intensive if you’re working with an experienced translation company that knows anything about machine translation and localization. 


Selecting The Right Hybrid Translation Company For Your Needs

Unless you already have a machine engine in mind, you’ll want to partner with a translation company that offers the latest machine translation software and post-editing services. 

However, each business has different needs and requirements. As such, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. So, you should consider the answers to the following questions when choosing a hybrid translation company. 

What level of quality does your business need?

You wouldn’t buy a discount heart monitor or ventilator. You can apply this same concept to mission-critical content. While this may seem like a redundant question, consider the difference one word can make in medical translations or legal translations. 

Unfortunately, the case of Willie Ramirez perfectly illustrates this concept. When he was taken to the ER in a coma, the doctor misunderstood his family’s explanation for the man’s condition. He mistook “intoxicado,” a broad Cuban word for poisoning, for intoxicated. In fact, he had intracerebral bleeding, and the incident resulted in him becoming a quadriplegic. 

Since there’s no adherence to a uniform level of quality in the machine translation industry, you’ll want to know how your LSP determines quality. You can look at their certification and training requirements to get an idea. 

For example, Tomedes, one of the leading providers in the machine translation industry, has an ISO certification for Machine Translation Post-Editing. This certification requires them to maintain the rigorous quality standards of the International Organization for Standardization.

What are your other business needs? 

Also, think about your budget, the language pairs, the amount of text, and any additional localization services required, such as testing, SEO research, or project management. 

Which Machine Translation Engine Does the LSP Use? 

Choosing the right machine translation engine for your business is essential to success. While Google Translate is okay for personal use, you’ll need something much more powerful for your localization strategy. Thankfully, researchers are developing different machine translation engines every day. 

Your specific industry or language pairing may guide your decision. For example, you may want to consider DeepL, NMT Systran, and Modernmt for English or French translations. However, Tencent or Baidu are much better for Chinese translations. 

According to Omniscien, a high-quality custom machine engine can increase productivity by as much as 300%.  This number could make or break your localization strategy. So whether your business is going to complete the machine translation privately or you’re looking for a language service provider (LSP), you need to know the limitations and capabilities of the proposed MT engine. 

Do their post-editors have experience in your industry?

You wouldn’t hire a plumber to install electrical wiring. The same goes for post-editing. You’ll want to ensure your translator has experience in machine translation post-editing as well as your language pairing and specific industry.  

Do they offer localization services? 

When it comes to complex projects, ten companies are not better than one efficient company.  If your goal is localization, you should select an LSP that offers localization services. 

For example, a recent blog referred to the CEO of Tomedes, Ofer Tirosh, as a Globalization Whiz, due to the company’s localization services, such as global marketing strategy, SEO, software testing, project management, and collaborative platform. 

Services like those mentioned above reduce the stress of localization because everything is taken care of in one convenient partnership. 


The Future Of Hybrid Translation 

Going forward, we’re likely to see an increase in the use of Hybrid Translation Management Systems (HTMS). More and more LSPs will follow the lead of innovative companies like RWS and Tomedes, offering collaborative platforms that include project management, asset management, workflow management, and terminology management. 

For the first time, businesses will have more control over their translated content and unprecedented access to globalization, thanks to hybrid translation.


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