In this article, you'll learn...
- Three distinct translation techniques
- How to decide which technique will work best for your project
- The strengths and weaknesses of various translation techniques
In classic sci-fi movies, contests between machines and humans almost always end with the machine's demise due to the stress of competing with superior human reasoning power. These days, machines beat humans on game shows, computers win at chess, and the quality of machine translation (MT) improves every year.
Let's take a look at three types of translation techniques, their definitions, and what content they are most appropriate for:
- Human translation
- Pure machine translation
- Machine translation with human editing
1. Human Translation
A professional linguist (most often, an in-country native speaker) reviews your project and, using guidelines agreed on beforehand, translates it to the language you require. The goal is to speak to your audience in the most natural, effective way. You can expect human translations to be free of idiomatic errors and to flow naturally and fluently.
Advertising and marketing projects can be "transcreated," which means using your headlines, copy, scripts, and product names as the starting point. Your material is then creatively translated into culturally sensitive language that will appeal and make sense to your global audience.
Best candidates: Projects that need to convince, persuade, build trust, inspire, educate, entertain, or sell your product. For example:
- Print and broadcast advertising
- Marketing and branding materials
- Store signage
- Social media
- Product and brand names
- Website content
- Multimedia (e.g., Flash, voiceovers, etc.)