Leveraging Machine Translation for Your Business: 4-Step Guide

As a business, it is only natural that you would want to branch out and expand your operations in different territories and countries to increase and multiply your revenue streams.

However, in order for your culturally and linguistically diverse audience to access and understand your product or service offerings, the first step is to accurately translate your content, such as your website or other relevant text.

To do this, companies have overwhelmingly started to adopt machine translation, which makes use of computer software to automatically translate text and aid in the localization process.

With estimates suggesting that the machine translation industry is projected to cross $7.5 billion by 2030, you are probably going to want to adopt machine translation technology as part of your wider marketing and expansion strategy.

To help you get started, this article gives you a comprehensive outlook on how to leverage machine translation for your business.

Know your machine translation options

Person writing

Before you start searching for the ideal machine translation software for your business, it is best to get acquainted with the different types of machine translation methods to choose the appropriate option.

Below are the four main types of machine translation that primarily differ in the computational method and approach toward language translation.

Rule-based machine translation (RBMT)

One of the initial types of machine translation technologies on the market, RBMT makes use of the established grammatical rules of the source language to translate text. However, this method requires a significant amount of editing by human translators to improve accuracy.

Statistical machine translation (SMT)

SMT adopts relevant statistical models to discern the relationships between words, phrases, and sentences in the source language to translate text into the desired language. Similar to RBMT, there is a need for human translators to fine-tune the end result.

Hybrid machine translation (HMT)

Lying at the intersection of RBMT and SMT, HMT couples the rules-based and statistical approaches and improves on their deficiencies. However, it does require a human translator to perfect the translated text.

Neural machine translation (NMT)

NMT is the latest iteration in machine translation technology which uses neural network models to translate source text. They are end-to-end systems that use a single model to encode and decode text.

Generally, they are more accurate than the previously mentioned methods. An example is the Google Neural Machine Translation which is used by Google Translate.

Identify what languages you need to translate

Flag with different countries

The software you use will also be dependent on what languages you are looking to translate. While Google Translate offers the largest number of currently available languages, you can also explore Amazon Translate, Microsoft Translate, and DeepL to determine if they cater to your needs.

More importantly, you need to verify whether the chosen software supports the language pair. For instance, if you wish to launch your Japanese website in Canada, you would want to ensure that it supports Japanese to English as well as Japanese to French translations, and vice versa.

This will make your website much more accessible and user-friendly.

Prepare the content for machine translation

The content you translate, known as the source text, is a major factor that will determine the quality of your translation. Generally, content such as blog articles, technical documents, or other resources, is best suited for machine translation.

Remember to conduct a thorough spell check, use consistent sentences and grammar, adopt an active voice, use the definite article, and avoid any ambiguous words or phrases including idioms, colloquialisms, abbreviations, and slang.

Conduct regular quality checks

Magnifying glass

Generally, many businesses carry out ​​machine translation post-editing, or MTPE, which refers to hiring a professional translator or linguist to assess the machine-translated text.

This is a fantastic way to improve quality assurance since it can allow the evaluator to refine your text, correct any errors, and ensure that it is culturally sensitive. You should also hire a proofreader to go through the final product to ensure the highest quality standards.

If you want to determine what kind of software is best for your needs, consider analyzing the translated text by assigning it a score based on the accuracy of the translated text and the need for post-editing. Generally, a higher score will correspond to fewer hours spent on post-editing.

The bottom line

Machine translation is a brilliant way to translate content for your business needs since it can optimize your translation workflow, save precious time compared to human translators, and improve your overall cost-efficiency.

Just make sure that you opt for the right type of machine translation software that has all the features to improve the quality and output of your translation source text into the target text.

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