Author Topic: machine translation  (Read 568 times)


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machine translation
« on: 03 March 2020, 00:05:22 »
This is how they save on translation in Japan. Though it's true for any country. :(

The author talks on the poor translation in Japan but, in fact, the story illustrates the general public's attitude to translation.

One likely culprit is the use of machine translation rather than human translators. Anyone can put text into a free online translation program, while there are also proprietary versions marketed to companies for internal use. While the quality of machine translation has certainly improved compared with what it was in the past, it still often produces translations that are slightly unnatural at best and complete gibberish at worst. Thus, machine translation is generally better used to get the gist of something written in a foreign language, rather than for producing a polished translation to be printed or published. Too many organizations continue to blithely cut and paste whatever comes out, without thinking about whether the result is accurate or even makes sense.

Organizations that actually employ the services of a human translator will often use one who is unqualified or inexperienced. In many cases, this is someone who is pressed into service to translate as a favor, often for free. The common culprit at the root of using less-qualified individuals or software is a lack of budget allocated for translation. Unfortunately, preparing translated text is sometimes an afterthought.

Another way that some Japanese organizations save money on translation is to ask an employee to do it. There could be a linguistically confident Japanese employee who feels like they can handle the translation themselves or just gets saddled with the job because everyone knows their TOEIC score. In either case, this goes against the general rule in translation that people should only translate into their native language.