Machine translation (MT) solutions are a dime a dozen these days. But are you optimizing the value you receive from these quick, plug-in solutions?
Machine translation can provide many benefits beyond a one-time project. In fact, MT can fit into broader localization strategies and business goals, and therefore, have a much wider impact as a solution. That’s why we’ve adopted a customizable, program-based approach to machine translation rather than a plug-in service. We work closely with our clients to understand the bigger picture to help maximize the benefits that machine translation can offer.
This blog will explain our program-based approach to machine translation solutions.
Start with Consulting: Ask and Discuss Answers to Three Questions
Our team of machine translation strategists, specialized in implementing programs for our clients, begin the process of determining the best solution by asking our clients three core questions:
- What’s the business problem you’re trying to solve?
- How can machine translation solve the business problem?
- How can we measure the success of machine translation?
By asking these questions and digging deeper, we often find that additional problems could be addressed by machine translation or that how we approach the problems might change. So, while MT might “fix” one thing, it may not be the most efficient or sustainable solution.
Read more about why we ask these questions and see real examples in our blog.
Develop a Content Matrix to Guide MT Solution Decision-Making
A core pillar of our program-based approach involves using the information gleaned in the consulting phase to develop a detailed content matrix, which helps us decide on the right machine translation solution. For example, we’ll look at the primary and secondary language pairs, the volume of work, the required quality, the content’s end use, and other factors to determine the most effective MT solution, service, or combination of the two.
We then map the recommended approach for each scenario to specific success criteria to ensure that we meet project baselines and target goals. As a result of our mapping, we can continuously improve our MT programs, the output quality from our MT engines, and the benefits they both provide.
Choose a Machine Translation Engine
Our dedicated in-house research and development team, comprised of data scientists, natural language processing (NLP) engineers, and artificial intelligence (AI) software experts, develop and maintain our proprietary MT technology. Their unique combination of technology, expertise, and experience results in three layers of complexity and sophistication that we can achieve with our proprietary MT engines.
As we discuss MT needs with our clients, we select the right MT engine. We can use a generic engine for any client, an industry-specific engine, and/or a client-specific engine.
During the consulting phase, we also gather requirements around the language combinations needed and use these to determine the most suitable MT engine for each use case. We can use our generic engines for a broad range of content types or industry-specific engines to target the technical precision of certain domains and verticals, such as life sciences, legal, finance, hospitality, retail, and more. We can also customize client-specific engines using translation memories and terminology, achieving a level of quality and brand accuracy beyond what is available with an off-the-shelf MT engine. Further, we offer integrations with many third-party MT providers, allowing immense flexibility to combine different providers and select the best-performing MT engine with each use case.
Adapt Machine Translation Services to Client Workflows
Although MT engines are at the core of our solutions offering, they’re only one part of a program-based approach. To complement the efficiency afforded by MT engines and take their quality to the next level, we can incorporate them into workflows that bring humans into the loop.
Our array of MT services can easily adapt to complex business needs, ranging from pure MT for understandability purposes to prioritize speed over quality, to MT with full human post-editing by a professional linguist to achieve human-quality translations. The flexibility afforded by our approach also allows client reviewers to be incorporated and can accommodate a multivendor setup if other language service providers are engaged.
Since all of these solutions and services are fully integrated with all components of the GlobalLink suite of products, MT is already at the core of the enabling technology and doesn’t need to be built in as a separate component. As a result, we can leverage translation memories and terminology in the same environment with client-configured dynamic workflows designed to support different business requirements and capture key data points around performance.
Use Data to Measure Machine Translation Quality and Productivity
For all of our MT programs, access to data and key metrics is critical for evaluating how MT adds value to our clients’ business operations. For this reason, we’ve developed a centralized, internal dashboard called the Metrics Server that automatically collects and displays key metrics from our GlobalLink Now MT workflows. These metrics include post-editing distance (PED) and Bilingual Language Understudy Evaluation (BLEU) for measuring MT quality and productivity for measuring MT efficiency, as well as others.
Using the insights provided by the metrics server, we can validate the success criteria established at the beginning of our MT programs, identify areas for improvement, and make decisions to pass along even further savings to our clients. Additionally, we can apply the data to the wider goals of our clients’ localization programs and their organizational priorities to demonstrate the value of MT.
Our program-based approach to machine translation implementation is the result of our unique combination of technical acumen through ongoing R&D, linguistic expertise as a leading language services company, and more than 30 years of experience with top clients from all major industries. By consulting with our clients, we can identify how MT can add value to their business operations and play a role in a wider solution and also help our clients adapt to an ever-changing technology and translation landscape by responding with innovation. Our unique program-based approach to machine translation solutions provides our clients with a fully integrated technology, solutions, and service experience.
Are you ready to learn more about our program-based approach to MT solutions? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.