Translation tool disadvantages
UNIT 4. TRANSLATION TOOLS
One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men.
No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.
Globalization has greatly increased the scale of cross-cultural communication and the need to eliminate the language barriers. The development of digital technologies has brought about wide use of translation tools or computer applications designed specifically to render the digital content from one natural language into another. The two main kinds of such computer applications are machine translation (MT) and computer-aided translation (CAT) .
MT applications are the wholly automatic systems that attempt to translate sentences and texts as wholes without human intervention, such as FreeTranslation, InterTran, Reverso and Google are available free of charge online .
Most popular CAT programs are electronic dictionaries, such as Oxford or Collins CD-ROM, Abbyy Lingvo, Prompt, Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary, which have the advantage of size, cost, speed and convenience over their printed counterparts. They range from general single-language dictionaries to very specific terminological dictionaries for medical, legal, and other professional languages. With the advancement of technology the number of features that are available in electronic dictionaries has also increased. Many models are equipped with text-to-speech and speech-to-text capabilities, interactive vocabulary games, etc. Most recently, electronic dictionaries have become available on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers, although the features on these devices are not as varied or as complex as the features that are found in conventional handheld dictionaries and current software offerings .
Translation tool advantages :
1) The most important and the most obvious advantages of using the above translation tools are the translation ease and speed. This is especially valuable for technical translation which sometimes needs to be done in large volumes and quickly.
2) Secondly, technical materials are too boring for human translators.
3) Thirdly, machine translation provides for terminological consistency.
4) The fourth reason is that under working conditions top quality human translation is not always needed.
5) Lastly, few people’s command of the target language is sufficient to do translation.
Translation tool disadvantages
The most serious disadvantage of using automated translation tools is the unpublishable translation quality. Each natural language is a system in its own right, with its historical, local, cultural and linguistic (polysemy, connotation, word order) peculiarities. Therefore the content cannot be rendered from the original language into the target language word-for word, without taking into consideration such peculiarities. “Even in human translation no two individual language experts will produce identical translations of the same text in the same language, and it typically takes a lot of revisions to produce a publishable translation.” . That’s why it is crucially important to do pre-editing and post-editing while using machine translation tools.
Pre-editing involves preparation of the original text for a machine translator to handle it more effectively. Post-editing is the process of improving a machine-generated translation with a minimum of manual labour, correction of machine translation output to ensure the required level of quality. Light post-editing aims at making the output simply understandable; full post-editing at making it also stylistically appropriate. Such post-editing may take longer than translation from scratch. But with advances in machine translation full post-editing is becoming an alternative to manual translation. There are a number of software tools that support post-editing of machine-translated output. This includes the Google Translator Toolkit, SDL Trados, Unbabel and Systran. 
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1. The following may be recommended to be done in the way of pre-editing:
- split long sentences into shorter ones, because experience shows that MT cannot deal well with long complex sentences.
- indicate whether a particular word has a particular function (e.g. convict as noun or verb). Reducing functional ambiguity greatly simplifies MT analysis of the sentence.
- indicate whether a particular name is to be translated or not. It could be done to prevent, for example, translating John White as Джон Белый.
- indicate the boundaries of compound nouns: to this end, a compound can be enclosed in brackets.
- insert punctuation. For example in a sentence such as There are he says
two options… we may need to ensure that he says is treated as an embedded phrase. It
could be enclosed in commas or bracketed, e.g. There are, he says, two options… or
There are (he says) two options...
- summarize the original text and then translate the summary.
2. When post-editing, check for:
- word order,
- tense forms,
- proper names,
- localization (adaptation to local conditions, e.g. currencies, measurements, etc.).
3. Be sensitive to cultural peculiarities:
For instance, Coca-Cola in Chinese sounds like “to bite a tadpole (головастик)", the American Airlines slogan "Fly in Leather!” in Latin America is perceived as “fly nude”, the Egyptian air carrier Misair could not work in French speaking countries, as it sounds like “trouble”. 
4. Avoid typical translation errors :
- word-for-word translation;
- wordiness: “осуществлять влияние” — влиять, “выполнить запуск программы” — запустить программу;
- repetitions: “pеальное влияние”, “конкретных потребителей”;
- translating all possessive pronouns: they are used in English much more often than in Russian. (“включите ваш HD-телевизор”).
Activity 1. Choose the best variant and justify your choice:
Activity 2. Analyze the translations done by two translation tools, compare them with the correct translation and decide what is wrong with them:
Activity 3. Do pre-editing of the given text:
Activity 4. Correct the machine translation of the original texts:
Activity 5. Identify the problems with the Google translation of the original text and do its post-editing
Activity 6. Restore the original text from the Google-translation and improve its translation:
"Мы настоятельно рекомендуем Microsoft мышь. Она эргономично спроектирована, особо сделана под Окна 95 и имеет третью кнопку в виде колеса, которые могут завивать окна. Совокупление Microsoft мыши и Окон 95 делает вашу повседневную работу легко приятной".
Mark the statements as T (True) or F (False).
1. MT and CAT differ in the degree of required human intervention.
2. Online dictionaries are a powerful machine translation tool.
3. CAT applications are based on translation databases.
4. Light and full post-editing pursue different purposes.
5. There is no such thing as a perfect translation tool.
6. It is easier to use human translation than post-edit a machine translation.