Imagine for a moment that you are a scientist who comes across a paper in a foreign language three days before submitting your own; this new piece holds information important to your research and you need to read it asap. Or perhaps you are a journalist who needs to report a foreign affair as soon as possible. In each case, you cannot wait several days for a translator to handle the content you’re interested in. What’s the solution? Postediting.
The idea behind this service is that a posteditor (preferably a translator) improves the machine-translated content to make it useable. Using CAT systems for it often shortens the delivery time, so you can get your text back sooner than if you ordered a regular translation. It has to be stated clearly that the automated translation is just the first step, not the final product. Moreover, the end result may vary – from lightly edited (focus on linguistic correctness) to fully proofread (improvements in style, tone and register).
The first case usually takes place when the text will be used for inbound purposes only or when it is needed urgently. The posteditor ensures that the text is understandable and linguistically correct, but the assumption is that there may be some style-related imperfections (especially if the turnaround time is very limited).
The full post-editing focuses much more on the overall quality – both language and style-wise. The level of modification has to be agreed upon with the customer, but usually, the posteditor does everything to provide a text good enough for inbound or outbound dissemination.
When it comes to the efficiency of postediting, it cannot be predicted without having a look at the automated translation. For some languages and text types, the volume of processed text can be doubled (or even tripled!) in comparison to standard translation. However, sometimes the automatically translated content is largely imperfect and it is, in fact, quicker to translate it from scratch.
Advances in the technology behind automated translation are rapid – considerable differences in quality may be noticed for texts translated this way now and ten years ago. This means that postediting may be a solution of the future, where native speakers smooth out and scrutinise content produced by AT engines. Nevertheless, a human touch is an essential part of the translation, proofreading and postediting. Our native speakers are open to this service as well. If you would like to know more about the details of this offer, do not hesitate to contact us.