الثلاثاء، 26 أبريل، 2011

Machine Translation , Disadvantages and Advantages


When I translate a document and come across an ambiguous word, the first thing that comes to my mind is to open google translate and ditch the word to know its meaning. Then, I feel relieved as I kill my curiosity towards such an ambiguity that would affect my whole work. However , sometime I find my translation seems to be swing as if I am applying a very shallow impact on my translation as my selection of words is poor due to the rough use of machine translation. Thus, herein we are going to debate the use of machine translation in terms of its advantages and disadvantages by the assistance of theorists views in this field.
Before analyzing Machine Translation's pros and cons , let us put the latter term in the spot. Machine Translation as Wikipedia 's definition is sometimes referred to by the abbreviation MT, is a sub-field of computational linguistics that investigates the use of computer software to translate text or speech from one natural language to another. At its basic level, MT performs simple substitution of words in one natural language for words in another. Using corpus techniques, more complex translations may be attempted, allowing for better handling of differences in linguistic typology, phrase recognition, and translation of idioms, as well as the isolation of anomalies. Or as simply as Stefán Briem defines it in simple form " Machine translation of written text from one language to another means using purposeful computer programs, that input a text in a certain language, the source language, and deliver its content in an equivalent text in another language, the target language." All in all we grasped from the latter definitions that MT has different degrees of sequencing from simplicity to complication depending on its nature and the theorist who initiated his definition.
After knowing what MT means , now let us dig into some reasons why MT is discouraged by some people and what are their justifications for taking such a serious claim. One claims that MT is used to perform certain tasks only. For instance , it can be used for preparing a glossary of new terms before the actual translation. Thus, this way restricts MT's capability to use its output as a grass rooted approved answers in final pieces of translation.
Another disadvantage is that MT can not be used in literary translations. The reason they claim is because it lacks the capacity to do so. Thus, MT is regarded in only quick translation of words not texts.
Some translators stand against MT as they think that it takes their jobs. They claim that The quality of translation that is currently possible with MT is one reason why it is wrong to think of MT systems as dehumanizing monsters which will eliminate human translators, or enslave them.

When MT is used to translate a text, the user gambles with the text and its contents. MT does not concentrate on the context . Instead, it focuses on the tasks to be done with them in a matter of no time comparing with human translation. However, the meaning , in this way, is not fully the main goal.

After screening some claimed MT disadvantages , here we can give reasoning alibis for taking pro- MT side. The first one would be working with the assistance of MT in the preparatory stage of translation with a wide scope that embrace the certain context upon which the text was written. Thus, this way is very useful ,especially when we have a text that has repeated words .

The second claim can be responded to with UNGUREANU answer : " translating literature requires special literary skill - it is not the kind of thing that average professional translator normally attempts. So, accepting the criticism does not show that automatic translation of non-literary texts is impossible. Second ,literary translation is a small proportion of the translation that has to be done, so accepting criticism does not mean that MT is useless. Finally, one may wonder who would ever want to translate Shakespeare by machine - it is a job that human translators find challenging and rewarding, and it is not a job that MT systems have been designed for. The criticism that MT systems cannot translate Shakespeare is a bit like criticism of industrial robots for not being able to dance "Swan Lake"."

And dear translators , there is not logical meaning to be threatened of MT as if it will monopolize your way of living.


" It will not eliminate them, simply because the volume of translation to be performed is so huge, and constantly growing, and because of the limitations of current and foreseeable MT systems. What is more likely is that the process of producing draft translations, along with the often tedious business of looking up unknown words in dictionaries, and ensuring terminological consistency, will become automated, leaving human translators free to spend time on increasing clarity and improving style, and to translate more important documents - editorials rather than weather reports, for example ." (UNGUREANU)

MT and human translation are essential for each other , as a person can not translate without using MT and MT can not be used without the intervention of humans. Thus, The translator has first to familiarize himself with the context before starting to translate. Then , he would be able to choose the best term in the most suitable location of the text. The translator on the other hand can use his logic to choose the best terminology as he knows the structure of the source and target languages and their differences.

Rather than its advantages in terms of linguistics , MT boosts business as well. Global enterprises are experiencing tremendous pressure from stakeholders to introduce new products on an international scale quicker and more effectively. At the same time, they must always look to improve cost and time deficiencies while maintaining the highest levels of customer satisfaction. These pressures and concerns present unique challenges for companies who communicate with global customers across multiple languages and cultures. To effectively meet these challenges, companies are continually combining MT solutions with their existing localization processes to help them localize their content more efficiently and for less cost. (Beaupre)

To add more advantages , MT saves time and efforts in looking up in dozens of references. Moreover , the best quality in MT is Confidentiality as when it is used in Private email services , no one would like to give his confidential letters to translators to have a look at and then render them.

To sum up, MT is one of the most practical technologies that Human used ever. It widens the horizons of languages and fill in the culture gaps through instant assistance. The only requirement from a human being is to be able to use it professionally or at least logically by filtering the context and selecting the best word choice that suits the actuality of the text. As any other gadget that human uses, MT can be of benefit if it is used wisely in business worldwide and in intercultural medium as well.


Reference:
Advantages and Disadvantages of Machine Translation ,Asist. univ.drd. Cristina UNGUREANU, Universitatea Pitesti
Advantages and disadvantages of machine translation :http://www.dilmanc.az/en/technology/mtadvantages
Machine translation: integrating automation into an effective localization strategy by Jennifer Beaupre, Senior Marketing Manager, SDL http://www.translationdirectory.com/articles/article2115.php

Stefán Briem http://www.simnet.is/stbr/vela.html

Wikipedia : www.wikipedia.com

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