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Machine Translation

, 25:217 | Cite as

Translating by post-editing: is it the way forward?

  • Ignacio GarciaEmail author
Article

Abstract

Translation memory tools now offer the translator to insert post-edited machine translation segments for which no match is found in the databases. The Google Translator Toolkit does this by default, advising in its Settings window: “Most users should not modify this”. Post-editing of no matches appears to work on engines trained with specific bilingual data on a source written under controlled language constraints. Would this, however, work for any type of task as Google’s advice implies? We have tested this by carrying out experiments with English–Chinese trainees, using the Toolkit to translate from the source text (the control group) and by post-editing (the experimental group). Results show that post-editing gains in productivity are marginal. With regard to quality, however, post-editing produces significantly better statistical results compared to translating manually. These gains in quality are observed independently of language direction, text difficulty or translator’s level of performance. In light of these findings, we discuss whether translators should consider post-editing as a viable alternative to conventional translation.

Keywords

Machine translation Post-editing Translation memory Google Translator Toolkit Non-professional translation Translation training 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Humanities and LanguagesUniversity of Western SydneyPenrith South DCAustralia

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