Machine translation comes in many shapes, and the whole concept of automatic translation is wide and imprecise. There are dozens of more and less advanced machine translation technologies and services. Some of them produce surprisingly good quality and some others not-so-good quality. To make it even more confusing, the quality varies not only between different automatic translators but also on sentence level and is dependent on the case.
Thus the most difficult part is to know how to choose the right one out of the many translator alternatives. This is exactly the difference between raw and qualified machine translation. Raw machine translation is produced by using only one source. The quality of raw machine translation can be good or bad or something between but the main issue is that you can’t be sure of it beforehand or without reading the translation through carefully. If you don’t understand the languages of BOTH the original AND the translated document then it is nearly impossible for you to evaluate how good the translation really is.
Qualified machine translation goes two steps further by processing the raw machine translation into more usable form. By utilizing advanced and innovative language technologies, machine translation qualifier is able to find and select the best available machine translation automatically. However, this isn’t always enough because, like said before, raw machine translation is not always correct and even the best available translation might be low in quality. To overcome this unpleasant uncertainty which is typical for raw machine translation, qualified machine translation contains information on the quality.
From a professional translator’s point of view, due to its low overall quality, it is often slower to post-edit a raw machine translation than it is to translate from scratch. Conversely, qualified machine translation contains only the best available machine translations. Then the professional translator can post-edit only the qualified segments and translate the other segments from scratch. This way, based on empirical research, professional translators are able to work at least 11% faster as compared to translating the whole thing from scratch.
As a summary, it can be said that qualified machine translation is a tool for professional translators to create pre-produced material for their projects. It will ease their job and they can work faster without compromising on quality when using qualified machine translation. Raw machine translation, on the other hand, is a tool for everyone who wants to quickly understand the main idea of a text written with a foreign language.
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