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abril 30, 2021 | News

How to Use AI Tools in Translation Projects

Machine translation has garnered itself something of an undesirable reputation. This is not really surprising. If you’ve ever used freely available AI tools like Google Translate or Babel Fish, you’ll understand their limitations. However, when combined with human translators, AI tools in translation projects can produce extremely effective results.

In fact, Computer-Assisted Translation (CAT) tools are constantly improving, particularly when it comes to AI. While they may not achieve the same quality or pick up on the same nuances as human translators, they can serve as an excellent starting point for translators to speed up their workflow and reduce translation costs. 

What Can AI Tools Do?

AI tools make use of artificial intelligence (computer-aided) to simulate human intelligence. When it comes to translations, they can be extremely useful for quick and easy translations or for when quality and tone of voice aren’t important, such as for asking directions in a foreign country or ordering a meal in a restaurant. 

However, AI translation tools are certainly not up to the task of localizing a website, translating lengthy or colloquial texts, picking up on idioms or humor, or providing you with error-free legal documents in another language.

You should never cut corners when it comes to any of your important translations as it’s easy to tell when a site or document has been translated by a machine. It sounds raw and stilted at best – and can completely miscommunicate the meaning at worst.

AI tools in translations are used to give translators a good starting point and help them save time translating lengthy texts unaided. But that’s where their abilities end. Human translators must work to correct, enrich, and craft these translations into texts that sound native, fluent, easy to read – and as if they were written by humans.

At Clear Words Translations, we make use of the highest quality AI tools to help us speed up our turnaround times and deliver the best quality at the best possible rates. And, having worked with CAT tools for so long, here are a few we recommend:

Memsource

Memsource has gained in popularity in recent years thanks to its patented AI technology that helps language service providers like us to reduce translation costs. Memsource can’t always translate all the content, but it can identify the texts that can be translated using AI technology before handing it off to human translators. 

We use Memsource to help us translate different types of content from marketing materials and magazines to gaming texts and website content. 

Trados

We have a longstanding partnership with Trados, which is one of the most popular CAT tools in the translation industry. In fact, Trados has been helping companies like ours to reduce admin work and provide quality translations faster for more than 30 years. 

Some of the features that we love about Trados in particular are its ability to create a translation memory that can be used in future projects, and its use of machine translation to give our translators a base for creating a superlative quality translation. 

Trados has become a staple of the language services industry with more than 270,000 translators and 80% of the localization community using its excellent industry-leading software.

Smartcat

Smartcat is especially effective for localization projects as it allows you to keep all assets in one place and optimize the localization process. Smartcat also helps us to effectively calculate the cost of localization projects and save and reuse content for future client requests, delivering high-quality localizations at a significantly lower rate.

Memoq

Memoq, like Smartcat, is an excellent platform for managing translation and localization projects, particularly those with multiple assets involved. It allows us to increase efficiency and keep projects highly organized thanks to its robust platform and stable technology. We like Memoq for its collaborative translation environment that helps to speed up the translation process and keep all collaborators in the loop.

Matecat

Matecat is another great tool for managing translations and localizations. Unlike some of the other AI tools available, with Matecat, you don’t have to pay ongoing licensing costs and you get a very simple interface that’s easy for all translators to work with. Matecat also provides excellent support and allows us to produce rush translations easier.

Final Thoughts

None of these tools can produce excellent quality translations without the input of skilled and qualified human translators – and working with machine-translated texts is an additional skill in itself. It’s not the same taking a text that has been translated using AI as translating the spoken or written word itself. This is why we encourage all our translators to learn how to work with CAT tools so that they understand the differences and learn to produce excellent quality work faster.

Some of the additional skills that working with AI tools in translation requires include the ability to add context to translations, fine-tune texts and make them smoother and easier to understand, add colloquial fluency to make texts sound more natural, standardize dates, weights, and measures, and ensure that the details of the brief have been met.

For AI tools to be effective in translation, you need linguists who are experienced in using them. At Clear Words Translations, we work with the most talented professionals who are dedicated to continued learning and are up to date on the latest tools in the market. We then provide them with ongoing training and continuing education to ensure that we deliver the best work to our clients.