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What is Machine Translation?

The translation of text by a computer, with no human involvement

Increase productivity and translate faster

Using machine translation as part of the SDL Trados Studio environment, you can translate more content and deliver it faster than before.

SDL Trados Studio software includes support for several machine translation engines.

What is machine translation?

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The translation of text by a computer, with no human involvement. Pioneered in the 1950s, machine translation can also be referred to as automated translation, automatic or instant translation.

How does machine translation work?

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There are three types of machine translation system: rules-based, statistical and neural:

  • Rules-based systems use a combination of language and grammar rules plus dictionaries for common words. Specialist dictionaries are created to focus on certain industries or disciplines. Rules-based systems typically deliver consistent translations with accurate terminology when trained with specialist dictionaries.
  • Statistical systems have no knowledge of language rules. Instead they "learn" to translate by analysing large amounts of data for each language pair. They can be trained for specific industries or disciplines using additional data relevant to the sector needed. Typically statistical systems deliver more fluent-sounding but less consistent translations.
  • Neural Machine Translation (NMT) is a new approach that makes machines learn to translate through one large neural network (multiple processing devices modeled on the brain). The approach has become increasingly popular amongst MT researchers and developers, as trained NMT systems have begun to show better translation performance in many language pairs compared to the phrase-based statistical approach.

When would I use machine translation?

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When translating with SDL Trados Studio, any segments not leveraged from translation memory can automatically be machine translated for a translator to review, then accept and amend if necessary, or decide to manually translate instead. A translator can configure which machine translation to use and how much is used.

Respecting client confidentiality

If the projects you work on are commercially sensitive, your customer may require that information is not disclosed to any third parties.  Carefully consider how and when to use machine translation as you could be sharing segments of the source with a third party.

Audit files are automatically generated by SDL Trados Studio which record the use of machine translation.

What machine translation can I use?

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SDL Trados Studio supports a number of machine translation engines that are available over an internet connection including SDL Language Cloud which is provided by SDL. You can choose between various options starting with a free package of baseline (untrained) translation up to industry specific trained engines, we have an option that is right for you.

You can use AdaptiveMT, our self-learning machine translation from within SDL Trados Studio 2017. AdaptiveMT works via SDL Language Cloud MT and learns from your edits in real-time as you translate.

What are the benefits to translators?

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Increased productivity – deliver translations faster

  • Pre-translate new segments that are not leveraged from translation memory. 
  • Connect to and use a customer's or supplier's trained engine through the industry specific solution SDL Language Cloud to achieve better quality results every time.

Flexibility and choice – to suit all types of project

  • Select from a number of different machine translation engines.
  • Choose from over 100 languages and more than 2,500 language pairs to suit your project.
  • The option to compare the results of rules-based and statistical machine translation engines.

Are you looking for a way to not only improve the quality of your work but speed up the process too?

  • SDL Language Cloud has machine translation that can be personalised with your own terms. By offering both machine and human translation, Language Cloud combines your personal term dictionary with our industry specific, self-learning engines to result in high level translations.
  • SDL AdaptiveMT learns from you as you translate and adapts to your translation style, content and terminology applying it in real time through SDL Trados Studio. The influence from your previous translations prevents you from having to mend the same issues repeatedly and helps you to save time and money by minimising the amount of possible post-editing.

Watch the two-minute introductory video.