Intertranslations Receives ISO 18587:2017 Certification For Machine Translation Post-Editing

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Here at Intertranslations, we are delighted to announce that we have recently added the certification for ISO 18587:2017 to our accreditation portfolio.

Aimed at organisations offering machine translation (MT) and post-editing services, this standard specifies the requirements and processes for fully editing machine translations with human post-editors. It also outlines the core competencies required of those post-editors to ensure that any MT output is thoroughly reviewed by specialists.

Machine translation technology and post-editing

Machine translation is the process of using artificial intelligence to automatically translate text from one language into another, without human involvement. This is the key difference between MT and translation memories (TM), which are built over time by translators. Constantly adding new content to a database, translators then use the TM to support their translation work by recalling similar segments from previous projects. On the other hand, MT produces a target language translation without needing any human input.

Although MT technology has been a game changer for the translation industry, it does have its limitations. Engines do not yet have the sensitivity of a human translator to detect subtle cultural differences and linguistic nuances. The level of quality also varies according to the language combination and the resources available for engine training. As a result, machine learning does not always produce consistent results.

This is where Machine Translation Post-Editing (MTPE) comes into play, offering the best of both worlds by combining MT technology and human sensitivity. Post-editing is the process by which humans modify machine-generated translation to produce an acceptable final product. The goal of this process is to improve translations to the same level of output quality that human translation can provide.

Delivering quality translations with ISO 18587

ISO 18587 specifies the requirements for full post-editing with the goal of achieving translation quality comparable to human translations. The standard defines the steps that a translation company must take during the pre and post-processing phases. This includes an initial suitability check to ensure that the language pairs, content and document formatting are appropriate for MTPE. It also provides guidelines for post-editors to ensure that final products meet customer specifications. 

Along with the MTPE processes, this certification specifies the qualifications, experience, and specific training required for post-editors to provide these services. As well as having the necessary linguistic skills of a translator, post-editors should be familiar with MT technology and computer-assisted translation tools. They should also be able to determine whether editing MT output makes sense in terms of the time and effort that would be required.

Finally, post-editors should have a process in place to provide structured feedback on the errors they frequently encounter within the MT output. This is critical to the future of MT as it will help highlight common issues faced by post-editors. These can then be rectified, thereby helping to improve the quality of the MT output for future projects.

It is also important to note that the ISO 18587 includes guidelines to ensure the quality of full post-editing services. It differentiates this from light post-editing, which simply aims to make the output more understandable. In contrast, full post-editing aims to make the output understandable, but also more stylistically appropriate so that it is indistinguishable from a human translation.

About Intertranslations

Founded in 1996, we provide a range of translation services to and from all European, Asian, and Middle Eastern languages. These services include light and full MTPE, and we are proudly certified according to ISO 18587:2017.

This standard complements our existing ISO 17100:2015 and ISO 9001:2015 certifications, enhancing our long-standing reputation for excellence and quality within the localisation industry. These certifications demonstrate our expertise in post-editing services, including quality evaluations and custom machine translation solutions.

Specialising in both light and full MTPE, we have processed over 10 million words in over 50 language pairs. This experience includes variations such as Canadian French and Latin-American Spanish, producing excellent results with our advanced neural machine translation software.

Following an assessment of your needs, our team of trained post-editing experts will help you choose between our light and full post-editing solutions. Which solution is right for your project depends on the language combination, how the translation will be used, and the quality of the MT output.

If you want a cost-effective solution that helps you reach a global audience quickly, then post-editing is the way to go. Whether you choose light or full post-editing, we will guide you through the process to ensure that your post-edited content effectively conveys your message.

Interested in learning more about how our MTPE services can guarantee quality translations at a reduced cost? Contact our post-editing specialists.

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