Technical glossary of translation terms
Occasionally, you’ll come across some unfamiliar terms on the intercontact website or when talking to people in the localisation and translation industry. You’ll find many of these terms listed here with short explanations.
Machine Translation (MT)
Automatic or machine translation (MT) refers to the translation of text by a computer program. Direct machine translation is the oldest and simplest MT method: Here, the words of the source text are translated word by word, and then the sentence order and inflection are adapted according to the rules of the target language.
Then there is the transfer method, in which the program analyses the grammatical structures in the source text and then generates text in the target language based on the language’s rules.
Despite the hype surrounding machine translation, unedited results from an MT should only be used in well-founded, isolated cases. Ideally, the text should be reviewed by a (human) post-editor.
See also: CAT tool, Machine translation post-editing (MTPE)
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