Proofreading of Translations Made Using Google Translate
Is machine translation the work of the devil?
Many translators think - and our office used to be one of them - that machine translation is a loophole for lazy or unambitious people who want to save time or money spent on high-quality translation.
What was it that changed our opinion about machine translation?
The turning point for me personally was when I was correcting the English-Hungarian translation of one of our students, a chemical engineer, in the field of pharmaceutics.
She was actually far from having intermediate (medium-level) language skills, and we often had to cover basic vocabulary and grammar deficiencies. However, week after week, she submitted nearly perfect translations.
When her method of translation was discussed, we discovered that she used Google Translate and these were the steps she followed:
1; Quickly read the text to be translated and translated the titles so that she had an overview of the topic.
2; Used Google Translate to have the text translated.
3; Read the text to be translated and the text translated by Google Translate sentence by sentence in parallel view and compared them.
4; When she detected something suspicious, she consulted dictionaries and professional literature.
5; She checked technical terms on the Internet to make sure that they were translated correctly by Google Translate. Pharmaceutical texts often contain a high number of long technical terms of Latin origin, many of which cannot be found in dictionaries. Their exact forms can be checked on the Internet.
Would you like to test the efficiency of translating by Google Translate?
1. Before you start, note the location on your computer or memory stick/external hard drive where you saved the text to be translated.
2. Then click on the blue link under the picture.
3. Click on the following link: Google Translate
4. In the field on the left, please select the language you want to have Google Translate to translate from.
5. Then in the field on the right, select the language you want the text to be translated into.
6. Then click on the Documents tab to upload the text.
7. Finally, press the button Browse your computer at the bottom on the left.
8. Now the screen displays all the files on your computer/portable data media for you to choose the one you want to be translated.
9. Select the file name, and press the Open button.
10. Now Google Translate is displayed on the screen again:
11. The name of the file to be translated is displayed on the left side, and there is a blue button at the bottom of the screen on the right side: Translation. If you click on this button, Google Translate will do the translation for you.
12. After a while, the machine translation will appear on the screen automatically. Do not be alarmed if some parts of the text look odd, for example, they slip over each other as if two texts were on top of each other. These errors will disappear as soon as the text is copied into a Word document. You can do this as follows:
13. Press the Ctrl key and the letter c to copy the text onto the clipboard.
14. In Word, open a new, blank document and click on it using the mouse.
15. Press the Ctrl key and the letter v to copy the text into the Word document.
16. We recommend saving the text now and noting its location.
17. As the next step, open the text you wanted to be translated, and the text already translated by Google Translate.
18. Click on the View button on the top, then on the Parallel view tab to view the two texts next to each other.
19. Then check carefully both texts and look up in the dictionary or on the Internet any parts you think were exchanged, distorted or mistranslated, and then make the correction.
20. As the last step, close the file to be translated and only open the text translated by Google Translate. Read the text carefully and look for any parts that are meaningless, and also look for words used incorrectly, any typos, spelling or grammatical errors (word order, conjugation, etc.).
Google Translate performs the translation on the basis of complex algorithms, which are continuously upgraded by the excellent computer programmers of Google.
Machines that use algorithms for translation, including Google Translate, analyze texts just like they would do with a mathematical formula. Therefore, it is difficult for them to detect if in a different context a synonymous word should be used instead. Not to mention the emotional context hidden behind the words and expressions, or the various stages of courtesy or formal language - that are not always perceived correctly.
The quality of translations prepared by Google Translate or other machine translations also depends on the language it was translated from and the language it was translated into. The special features of each language greatly influence the extent they can be processed by algorithms. Chinese is well known to be one of the most difficult languages - however; written Chinese can be machine-translated surprisingly well since there are no inflections in Chinese. Hungarian is an extremely difficult language in this respect as well since translator machines find it hard to identify the original words because of the high number of suffixes.
However, if you have a text to be translated from Hungarian into a foreign language, it will be naturally harder to check the accuracy of machine translation than doing the same in your mother tongue.
Not sure of the accuracy of machine translation? The stake is high - do you plan to send the completed translation to an important place?
- If your foreign language skills are lower than the proficiency level in that area, or if you have no experience in translating texts, reviewing them, or if you don’t have the time to do it, it is recommended to send the translation to us for proofreading (= checking and improving the text) before further use.
- There may be such differences between the original and the machine-translated texts, which can only be detected by skilled translators and proofreaders with many years of experience.
- If you choose MET Translation Office to proofread your translation, you may spare yourself a lot of inconvenience and annoyance - not to mention the costs saved.
- The fee of proofreading - in case of a normal amount of error correction - is only 50% of the amount charged for the translation of the same text. If the text contains much fewer mistakes than the normal amount, we can also offer a lower price for proofreading.
What additional safeguards can we offer if you choose to have MET Translation Office to proofread your translation?
- After viewing the text, we always make an offer for the proofreading in advance, which is never altered subsequently.
- At MET Translation Office we also let our prospective customers know if the machine translation is so poor that it is more worthwhile having us translated the text than having it proofread.
- The professional translators at MET Translation Office prepare the translations from the beginning to the end of the translation process by themselves - without the use of machine translation - followed by multiple-step, strict quality control.
- If you have your texts proofread or translated by us, you can spare yourself the stress about the quality of the finished texts. You may use them anywhere - our translations stand up to international standards and forums as well!
So it is always worth asking for a custom quote for proofreading, which you can reach by clicking here: Request for quote
We handle all texts and personal data confidentially.
If you have any questions, please fill in the contact form below.
For immediate information, you can call +36 1 221 2866 or +36 30 546 0396
(24-hour on-call duty at weekends as well)