Automated Translation For Media

Multimedia developers and trainers have been desperate to use automated translation (aka “machine translation”) for years, yet upon closer scrutiny it has always been determined that automated translation is too inaccurate. So, companies either scratch translation completely or bite the bullet and pay the cost of using professional translators.

The good news – perhaps great news! – is that automated translation is an excellent potential solution to many of these issues and can cut the costs of translation by up to 95%.   Especially if you or your client has dozens or hundreds of videos or hour and hours of footage which makes the cost of professional translation unbearable.   But there are a few basics to understand.

Automated Translation is the result of computer programming. As such, it has all of the basic issues software developers face every day – the computer has no ability to judge, decide, or think for itself. Let’s study translation of baseball text to illustrate: “The batter is at the plate. He shakes his bat and prepares to swing.”   The result in other languages can be something like, “The bread dough is on the platter. He shakes his flying rodent and prepares to dance. ”

3 tips to know about automated translation:

1) Automated translation will never work well if you compose your text as you would always do, without planning or forethought for automation

2) If you change the way you write your original text, you can use automated translation to save thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars

3) For the words and expressions that have multiple potential translations, there is a way to pre-determine preferred or correct translations.


What does this mean? This means that if you put forethought into the words and sentence structure of your web pages, then you can translate into dozens of languages at low, low cost. There are techniques that can be used to produce 99% accuracy in auto-translation on general subjects and paying only pennies. Preparing text for Automated Translation is crucial.   Compose your English version (or master language) as you always do, then clone it and go to work preparing it for automated translation.   It is common in the world of multi-language text to have an original – e.g. your base English version – that is exactly as you desire it to be.
Global English
So, create a copy of that base English that you will rewrite following the rules for automated translation. The newly rewritten version could be called the “global English” version, and its purpose is only to be the text used to run through translation software, not necessarily used in your application or on your media.

The basic rules for success with automated translation only take a few hours to learn. Yet information on the rules and the secrets to successful automated-translation is almost impossible to find.

The consultants with will be pleased to give you an online short class on How To Write for Automated Translation so that mastering these techniques is quick.

But remember that consistently following the rules takes discipline, and cutting corners causes errors that will reverberate across several languages.

These rewrite techniques work for any text. Using these techniques adds a step in the thought process and it takes awhile until these rewrite techniques begin to come naturally. But the cost savings can be enormous and the techniques may enable certain trainers or designers to translate their courses and media where had been unaffordable in the past.