The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way we work and shifted most of our activities online. First we learned how to work and study online and then how to maintain a safe office space during a pandemic. Many industries restructured the way they do business. Workflow, marketing, employment strategies all had to adapt to the new normal and translation is not an exception.

Translation in times of pandemic

The translation industry was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic but not only in a negative way. The virus created a higher need of clinical translation along with the necessity of online learning translation to meet the increased demand.

Language service providers had to adapt quickly to the new demands and allocate their resources inthe right direction. One of the options to answer the increasing needs of the customers was to offer specialized machine translation services (MT).

Businesses were also looking for cheaper solutions to their increased translation demand and online MT was one of the options. It is of paramount importance, though, to find the right software that will produce the necessary results.

Machine translation types and features

There is a great variety of machine translation services that you can find on the market. We can divide them into several categories depending on certain features.

The main difference is between statistical machine translation and neural machine translation (NMT). The main difference is that NMT predicts the logical sequence of a sentence and thus it translates the whole sentence and not only the words it is comprised of like statistical MT. NMT can also be trained with terminology specific for a given industry and thus offer great results. In terms of COVID-19 pandemic there is A Multilingual Neural Machine Translation Model for Biomedical Data offered by Naver Labs Europe. It aims to assist the translation of COVID-19 related information in the biomedical domain from five languages (French, German, Italian, Korean and Spanish) into English.

According to their price we can differentiate between free and paid machine translation. While the free translation generators are getting better with time, they are still not the best means for professional business translations. You can use them for getting the gist of a text. Paid MT services can be either online based or offered by language service providers. There is also an option for a company to buy translation software and train it according to their specific purposes.

Benefits of online machine translation

During the past year we got used to being online as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. So, we are looking for online solutions for different needs. Online machine translation can be the answer to your demands and offers several benefits:

  • Faster delivery

Using MT software results in faster delivery of the translated text compared to using human translation. The quality does not match that of human translation, but if you need a basic understanding of the text quickly, then online MT is the answer.

  • Cost-efficiency

As many of the online machine translation tools are free to use, we can say that this is a cost-efficient service. You can get good, ready-to-use translation depending on the type of content you need to translated. Furthermore, you can get a rough translation that can be further edited by an expert in the field at a lower cost compared to having the text fully translated by a human translator.

  • Security and consistency

Human beings can make mistakes depending on their skills, knowledge, or work burden. In certain cases, machines can be more reliable than people. When it comes to machine translation and especially neural machine translation (NMT), you can rest assured that the content, regardless of its length, will be coherent and consistent in style, format and terminology used. Furthermore, there cannot be a breach of confidentiality if you are using the proper form of MT. Avoid using free MT generators such as Google Translate for confidential documents as that may end up quite unpleasantly. If you are using your own MT software or MT provided by a trusted translation agency, your content is perfectly secure.

Various online machine translation sources

In addition to the popular free translation generators, there are several more specialized online machine translation sources. One is offered by Naver Labs Europe and another popular source is offered by the European Commission and is called Machine Translation for Public Administrations – eTranslation. Depending on your needs, you can select the right online tool for your business.

Multilingual models

Online machine translation generators are trained to operate in a multilingual environment. In otherwords, you can get your content translated from any language into any language you need. Keep in mind that some language combinations are more popular and thus more accurate, such as Spanish-English, for example.

Raw quality for personal needs

Many people do not feel comfortable to share personal details with translators such as private correspondence. Here, an online translation tool can be of great help. You can get a raw quality translation of your content without having to share it with another person. Be careful not to upload sensitive information online. Sometimes information leakage such as the case with Statoil uncovered by Norwegian News Network NRK where passwords and contracts were accessible by anyone on the internet.

Possibility to train the MT

Last but not least, one of the best advantages of the machine translation software is that you can train it according to your personal needs. You can include industry jargon, certain language combinations, measurements, and other specific information that is important for your business.

Machine translation is a good and fast way to get a text translated. Here, at ICD Translation we offer reliable MT services that can be combined with post-editing and proofreading services provided by our professional translators for even better results. You can rely on us regardless of your business or translation needs.

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