Machine Translation Advantages and Disadvantages

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Machine Translation Advantages and Disadvantages

A Guide to Machine Translation: Perks and Disadvantages All Together

Machine translation, also known as automated translation, is a popular subject both among translators and customers who like to use technology for their business. This time we gather all the basics you need to know about machine translation types, advantages and disadvantages of machine translation. 


In beginning, a machine translation is…

A translation conveys words or texts from one language to another while trying to preserve the meaning and feeling as much as one can. Machine translation is using software that translates documents between languages without human interruption. 

Yehoshua Bar-Hillel, who was a pioneer in machine translation's arrival into the translation world, is known as one of the first people to work on machine translation. He was a linguist, mathematician and philosopher. The idea to use a mediator that stocks up former information and use it when intended without a human's interruption was quiet early, that is 1933. However, the industry needed time to implement such an idea. As years passed, with the proliferation of computers, the process of machine translation also developed. 

In time, the integration of machine translation to the translations increased and new machine translation types appeared. Along with developments in the software, it's possible to find many machine translation advantages as well as disadvantages.

Here come machine translation advantages and the reasons for them

Speed is crucial for the world we live in right now. The field of translation, of course, is affected by it.  As the increase of the competition, the need for fast yet high-quality translation also grows. Among the machine translation advantages, that's why it's assistance to speed up the translation process comes first. 

Machine translation also provides creating a translation memory, which is a personal dictionary for translators. Containing two language versions of a text, translation memory is crucial for every machine translation types. 

For different translations, a translator can customize the machine translation and use it with maximum benefit and minimum effort.

Changes that come each year with a machine translation

Starting with 1933, after machine translation was used for mostly military purposes, more research on machine translation continued 1949-1965 and formed a basis for its implementation. 

The 70s and 80s were when machine translation software took its place in linguistics. For instance, one of the most known computer-assisted translation tools SDL Trados was created in 1984*.  

 Through the years, Machine translation became more common and available for people from different industries as well as translators. That made the translation methods and types within machine translation to vary.

The machine translation types you should know

After machine translation software developed more and added different features, new types of machine translation types appeared. Although they work with the same logic, 

Statistical Machine Translation 

Shortly known as SMT, this type of machine translation uses an immense volume of words and matches the words from a source language to the target language. However, like Google Translate example, most of the time it may miss the context and lack to convey the meaning. 

 Rule-based Machine Translation 

As it is understood from the name, this type uses grammatical rules to translate a text or a simple sentence.

 Hybrid Machine Translation

HMT puts Statistical and Rule-Based Machine translation together and creates the translation. Proofreading by a translator is needed.

Neural Machine Translation

As opposed to other machine translation types, NMT offers to use a single and complete source to read a source sentence and translate it to the target language. 

Disadvantages of machine translation

With machine translation advantages, there are also disadvantages or parts where machine translation simple lacks.  Though each year, the   software for MT gets better and more detailed, there are translations only humans can convey the message they carry. 

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