Crafting the right marketing message demands talent, research, and resources. But your words aren’t equally welcome everywhere. One of the keys to expanding your brand internationally is overcoming linguistic and cultural barriers. Therefore, translating your marketing material is a must.
In the last two decades, the development of AI-powered Machine Translation (MT) revolutionized the translation process. Its efficiency, speed, and low cost have given professional translators a better and more detail-focused workflow.
Machine translation brings efficiency to all aspects of a translation project. Today, at leading translation companies, a Machine Translation Engine takes care of the bulk of the translation and a team of professional linguists improves the final result, focusing on style and cultural resonance.
In this post, we’ll share why MT & MT postediting are a great solution for your international marketing campaigns. Let’s get started.
What Is MT Postediting?
According to CSA, the boom of AI-powered machine translation began in 2015. In the last decade, Artificial Intelligence (AI) made machine translation technologies improve very fast. The most competitive language service providers implement AI-powered machine translation to create rough drafts of their translations in a short time.
But because they are “rough drafts”, MT Post-Editing is the process that follows (Machine Translation). That is: the editing of the machine translation output, carried out by a team of professional linguists who make the translation suitable for the target audience.
In other words, Machine Translation Postediting (MTPE) turns your MT output into a high-quality translation. This perfect combination of machine translation and human translation makes the result accurate, culturally appropriate, and unambiguous.
Machine Translation processes the source text mechanically, without understanding its context. This results in a grammatically correct but inaccurate or ineffective translation. Meanwhile, post-editing by a human translation team ensures that the translation conveys the right message, with the right tone and connotation. But the job of post-editors isn’t limited to the MT output, their focus extends to the source material.
The post-editor reads the source text and compares it with the new text to identify and correct any confusing or inaccurate passages. They pay attention to punctuation, grammar, terminology, words that shouldn’t be translated, and any other relevant aspect of the translation.
The Secrets of Great Postediting
Let’s get one ‘secret’ straight: it’s only because of MTPE that using Machine Translation has become a viable option for marketing content.
And let’s also hit some basics: successfully reaching international markets means knowing how to speak the target audience’s language. It’s about creating a sense of mutual understanding between your brand and its new customers.
This is exactly what makes Post Editing effort vital for the correct interpretation of a translation – and even more for going beyond accuracy. Because, sometimes, it’s not just about getting a more faithful rendering of a message word-by-word. Sometimes, making communication possible across cultures involves replacing certain expressions with their equivalents for the target culture. In some projects, MTPE borders on localization.
Generally speaking, the best linguists in the industry prioritize certain aspects of the material in their postediting efforts, depending on the requirements of the project.
But particularly in the case of marketing content, those post-editors have a deep cultural understanding of the source and target languages. Consequently, you’ll find these editors carefully examining the source material, as well as the translation output. This allows them to get a sense of perspective about the original material’s tone and intentions. Something absolutely crucial in marketing-related projects.
You are probably wondering how much this essential human intervention will cost you, especially that you’ve gone for MT for its cost-efficiency, among other reasons. Well, every project is different. That’s why Machine Translation Post Editing rates are not universal and fixed. Many factors will determine the cost of your postediting project. For starters, a determining factor in the price of MTPE services is how profound they have to be. Let’s dive deeper.
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Full Editing & Light Editing: How Do They Differ?
There are two possible approaches to MTPE: light and full postediting.
According to Taus, full postediting should reach a quality similar to “high-quality human translation and revision” (a.k.a. “publishable quality”), and light postediting should reach a lower quality, often referred to as “good enough”.
But when should content receive either one of them?
Light Postediting is ideal for internal communications. It serves to achieve an acceptable level of translation quality but does not involve profound stylistic changes. It should be used for:
An MT output that has gone through this level of editing is understandable and ready for use, but not good enough for marketing.
Full Postediting, on the other hand, produces a high-quality result that sounds fully human. Whereas in light editing, most changes are grammatical and clarity-focused, in full editing, changes relate to style, tone, and pre-approved terminology. It should be used for:
There are areas where a high level of post machine editing quality is essential. Marketing is one of them. If a company wants to expand and decides to translate its website with an automatic translation tool, it will obtain good results from a linguistic point of view – but not on a commercial level.
Machine Translation Editing & International Marketing Campaigns
If there is one thing machine translation excels at, it is its ability to translate texts at high speed. And in recent years, the accuracy of MT outputs has increased, as their training mechanisms became more and more refined.
Nevertheless, although translation systems are becoming increasingly intelligent, they still lack the cultural and strategic insight of human translation.
In the case of international marketing campaigns, machine translation almost always poses difficulties. The main reason has to do with the creative nature of marketing texts. Translating metaphors or slogans with puns through an artificial neural network is a one-way road to confusion.
There are two particular dimensions of creative writing that MT outputs struggle with:
This does not mean that it’s impossible to achieve good results: it all depends on the way the content is written and the intended use. But, considering the level of investment that international marketing campaigns usually demand, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
When it comes to translating both technical and creative texts, MT can make the process more efficient while reducing costs. But the literalness of machine translation can completely ruin your brand’s message. To produce high-quality marketing content, it pays off to hire professional translation services that combine the effectiveness of MT with the insight of native professionals. Postediting is a must.
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What MT Postediting Success Looks Like
Marketing content translation depends on each client’s budget and objectives. However, some priorities are common to all marketing-related postediting projects.
MTPE translation brings a much higher degree of accuracy than machine translation alone. The fluency, quality, and cultural sensitivity of human translators make it the best option for translating and adapting your content.
High-level marketing campaigns often require multidisciplinary language solutions. For example, marketing localization or website localization. But machine translation and post-editing is an ideal solution for material that, while important, has a lower return-on-investment per word. For example, this might be the case for seasonal social media campaigns, or for product descriptions.
As marketing isn’t just about creativity, but also about measurable insight, your postedited content will probably have to be analyzed through the eyes of SEO research or certain types of quantitative data. But even if further optimization is needed, a culturally sound message is a great place to start.
MTPE gives you the best of both worlds: the speed of machine translation and the sensitivity of the native translator. There is no bidding game here between machine translation vs. human translation, as each adds to the process in its own way.
Work with an International Translation Leader
If you are looking for a translation company that surpasses industry standards and delivers impactful results, you’ve come to the right place.
With almost two decades of international industry experience, bayantech offers high-quality translation and MTPE services in over 100 different languages. Our team of linguists is made up of specialized native speakers working with the most advanced machine translation engines & CAT tools in the market.
Our MTPE services include comprehensive editing and localization. We have everything you need to transform MT output into a high-quality translation that increases your international outreach. Contact us now