The times when a translator’s only necessities were dictionaries and a typewriter are long gone. Today, localization is a production process that uses advanced technologies; as translation tasks become more and more complicated and larger in scale, and require special knowledge and special tools.
Sometimes companies need to cheaply and quickly translate a large volume of text for their internal needs— i.e. in order to understand the general content of a text, find out what is relevant and select a small part of the text for real translation and publication. In this case, machine translation
can be used. But it should be kept in mind that machine translation only gives acceptable results for some very specific texts and cannot be used when accuracy is critical, especially when the resulting text must read well. Anyone who has ever used the Google Translate online system knows about the advantages and disadvantages of machine translation: it is handy when you need to immediately know what the text is about, but there is always the possibility of error, and the style is often fodder for jokes.
Usually, a company has to handle many similar materials — i.e. product catalogs where the same descriptions repeat with minor variations. When the materials are localized, it is important that repeated text is always translated in the same way. It is impossible, however, to memorize all the past translations, even if there is only one translator working on the project. Considering that the work on large-scale projects is usually shared among several translators and editors, it is even more difficult to preserve the consistency of translation, terminology and style. Additionally, translating a text that has already been translated wastes time and increases expenses. Computer Assisted Translation, or CAT
is a special software that aids the translator in resolving this problem. It stores the fragments that have been previously translated and retrieves them automatically.
Linguistic Quality Assurance
When the translation is complete, another problem arises: how can its quality and adequacy be evaluated, especially if the text was translated into several languages the translator does not know? To resolve this, the methodology of Linguistic Quality Assurance (LQA) was developed. This ensures that a small fragment of the translation is analyzed and the errors identified. The errors are then categorized by severity and type, and a translation quality score is calculated.
Logrus has extensive experience in using, researching and developing advanced localization technologies. Experts from Logrus share their knowledge at conferences and workshops
, as well as on our website, in the Articles
Since January 2007, Logrus has published Professional Translation, a journal on modern localization technologies and trends.