Association for the Promotion of Languages via Lexicography and Open Data

Online automatic translation

Presentation

Machine translation is the act of translating a whole text with one or several softwares, without the help of any human being.

An automatic translation software analyzes the text in the original language (the one that has to be translated) and creates automatically a text in an other language (this is the translated text). In order to do so, it uses precise rules to transfer the grammatical structure (words from the dictionnary, linguistic rules) or is based on translation memories.

Here are the links of two famous automatic translation tools :

Advantages

Disadvantages

Conclusion

Automatic translation still has to improve, and the translations have not yet reached the quality one can expect from a person. The first step is to determine to which kind of text should the system be adapted, and then check the pre-translation. « There are today a certain number of softwares that provide a translation, if not perfect, of a quality good enough to be used in some specific areas, generally for technical information. » says the website of the EAMT (European Association for Machine Translation). In any case, no matter the future improvements in this area, there is no doubt that better the translation memory of the software (the largest and most accurate possible), better the translation.