How to Use GPT to Maximize the Potential of Language

The AI revolution is here. 

Machine intelligence has firmly established its presence everywhere, with translation being one of the most notably impacted fields. With the advent of large language models like GPT, the landscape of translation has been transformed, offering new possibilities and opportunities for language professionals around the world. 

Or has it?

The data used to train the model is primarily in English, which means users working with other languages may not benefit from the same types of advantages offered otherwise by the tool. GPT’s lack of a comprehensive cultural and linguistic understanding of certain languages forces translators to spend more time and energy post-editing. It can lead to bias, too – even the CEO of ChatGPT model agrees

So, how can that be fixed?

We have come up with a list of the best practices to help language professionals everywhere harness the full potential of GPT for translation purposes. By following these best practices, translators can unlock the capabilities of GPT and ensure high-quality translations in any language and for any industry.


What prompts will help me use GPT for my language needs?

ChatGPT serves as a versatile tool in translation, offering a quick, efficient means to understand and communicate in diverse languages. It can provide real-time translations for general conversation; facilitate cross-cultural communication in professional and social settings; and support users in learning or refining language skills in an accessible manner.

Here are ten translation prompts that you can use in any given setting:

While ChatGPT is proven and highly capable, it’s important to note that its responses can sometimes lack consistency due to the complexity of language processing. In most cases, there is an ongoing need for prompt refinement to ensure that the AI comprehends and correctly interprets simple prompts, especially in context-sensitive situations, thus enhancing its reliability as an advanced AI model.


An In-depth Look on Prompts

Refined prompts for ChatGPT may include explicit context-setting and specifying the desired output form. Such prompts help ChatGPT provide more accurate and contextually relevant responses, improving user interaction. Below, we provided you with tips that could help you better construct your prompts, that would better urge ChatGPT to provide you with the content you are looking for. We also made sure to include actual results from our interaction with ChatGPT.

  1. Write to GPT as if it were a human. This means using complete sentences and proper punctuation. Imagine if your boss assigned you a task, but the guidelines provided were confusing, misleading, or incomplete. You probably wouldn’t be able to accomplish the task as successfully as you could if you didn’t have to waste your time and energy just deciphering the instructions.

  1. Segment the information provided in the prompts into “bite-sized” chunks and use delimiters like quotation marks, XML tags, section titles, etc. to help differentiate the various elements. 

Text from the novel The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

  1. Have GPT analyze the source text before you even begin to translate. You can ask the tool to summarize the message and inquire about the industry, style, tone, and register used. 

Text used from LinkedIn post by SpotOn Connections (https://www.linkedin.com/company/spoton-connections/

  1. Include details about the source and target text. This means answering those five W’s (who, where, what, when, & why). 

  1. Provide examples. If you want the translation to adopt a certain type of voice, register, or tone, use examples so it has something to refer to.

Text used from website https://www.vetroelite.com/ 

  1. Ask GPT if it needs any additional information to provide an accurate translation. (This is similar to MachineTranslation.com’s context translation feature, so feel free to play around with that, too!)

Text from the article “Data, Digital Media, and a Different Design Office” by Associate Professor in Practice in Architecture Andrew Witt (https://www.gsd.harvard.edu/2023/06/andrew-witt-on-data-artifical-intelligence-and-architecture/

  1. Have a conversation. If the translated output does not meet your expectations, respond with a new prompt explaining why. Then ask GPT to improve the translation according to your feedback.

Text used from GPT’s best practices page (https://platform.openai.com/docs/guides/gpt-best-practices/strategy-write-clear-instructions)


Final Thoughts

As we dive deeper into the world of artificial intelligence, the role it plays in easing our tasks continues to expand, and translation is no exception. When you use the best practices and prompts outlined in this article with GPT, you not only streamline your translation tasks but also significantly enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of your work.

Experimentation is key with AI. Do not hesitate to play around with these tips and suggestions. This will enable you to understand the capabilities and limitations of AI in the context of translation, giving you an idea of the areas where it excels, and those where human intervention may still be required.