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Translation in the 21st

Micaela Daz
Macarena Touceda
Erika Urbancic Omahna
These days, translators find themselves in a difficult position.
Growing demand of translation exists because of global trade
and communication, which causes translators to find it harder to
meet this demand.
Internet has increased cultural exchanges between nations.
Audiovisual translation is born (also known as screen
translation) and new challenges come, including time to master
these new tools.
Firms like Google and Yahoo have diversified their services to
provide tools to produce automatic translations
Brief introduction
Methods of Translation
Human translation based on the web is generally favored by
companies and individuals that wish to secure more accurate
The machine translation has been proved to be inaccurate,
making human translation the most reliable source.
Web-based human translation has been gaining popularity by
providing fast and accurate translation for many fields.
One of the most popular machine translation platforms are:
Google Translate and Yahoo! Babel Fish.
Computer-assisted translation
Computer-assisted translation (CAT), also called "computer-
aided translation," "machine-aided human translation" (MAHT)
and "interactive translation," is a form of translation where in a
human translator creates a target text with the assistance of a
computer program.
The special programs that are included and available for the
translator are a standard dictionary and a grammar software.
SDL Trados (TRAnslation & DOcumentation Software) is
a computer-assisted translation software suite,It
provides translation memory and terminology management.
Trados GmbH was founded in 1984 by Jochen Hummel and Iko
Knyphausen in Germany.
By the end of the 1990s, it had become the clear market leader
in desktop translation memory software.

Of the many software developers of the nineties, by 2004 only
four had survived with a robust product that was adapted to the
needs of the globalization environment:
Dj Vu

Wordfast didn't make it to the global standard. It is less
sophisticated and expensive, more adequate for individual
translators who work mainly in Microsoft Word.
Translation Memory Software
Translation memory programs store previously translated
source texts and their equivalent target texts in a database to be
used in future translations.
The software displays each source segment in turn and
provides a previous translation for re-use.
If such segment doesn't find a matching source, the program
allows the translator to enter a new translation which, after this,
is stored in the database.
Language search-engine software
A language search engine searches a large repository of Translation
Memories to find previously translated sentence fragments, phrases,
whole sentences, even complete paragraphs that match source
document segments.

Large numbers of bilingual translators are employed to collaborate
via social media by voluntarily helping to translate large bodies of
existing texts.
Crowd translation
Machine Translation
MT is a process where a computer analyzes a source text and
produces a target text without human intervention.
The human translator is involved in the process of pre-editing
(terminology work and preparation of the source text) and post-
editing (reworking of the machine translation).
Commercial machine-translation tools can produce useful results,
especially if the machine-translation system is integrated with
a translation-memory or globalization-management system.
Machine translation ignores the fact that communication in human
language is embedded with context and that it takes a person to
comprehend the context of the original text with a reasonable
degree of probability.
The role of the technical translator changed as a direct result of TM
technology. Translators were no longer focused on translating texts,
but segments.
The pre-translation mode is rapidly being phased-out in favour of
the emerging web-interactive mode, whereby translators now log in
to the databases via their browser.
Leveraging segments in real time is now possible and is more
effective if another translator is working remotely on the same
Disadvantages of MT Translation
It imposes the tool they must use: whereas the pre-translation mode
allowed a translator to work using, say, a Trados-compatible tool
rather than Trados itself, with web-based technology this is no
longer feasible.
On anecdotal evidence it slows the respective response times for
opening each segment, searching the data base(s) and returning
results, and closing (uploading) completed segments.
It makes it difficult for translators to build up their own linguistic
assets, although in some cases with extra effort they might perhaps
circumvent this.
It clearly gives LSPs access to performance-related information that
most self-employed professionals would like to keep confidential:
hours spent, translation speed, work patterns.

Soon, translators in the localisation industry will no longer translate
texts or segments, but just post-edit machine output.
Most translation done for localisation is likely to follow the MT-
assisted TM model, with the translator thus becoming a de-facto
Translators will still be needed, but their working conditions into the
next decade will be quite dissimilar to those of the nineties.
Machine translation is an "imperfect" technology and each one of us
will apply their judgment towards the final translation delivered.
Machine translation is beginning to deliver on its potential. In the
near future, there will be new and exciting approaches with machine
translation that will bridge language gaps across the world.
The Future of Translation
The future of translation will depend on each one of us.
If a person sees it mostly as just moving words from
one language to another, the future of translation is
in memory tools such as Google Translate and more
and better machine translations.
The only future available to translators will be human
editing of the product of these computer tools and
of the machine translation product.
But if translation is about finding some meaning in this
world, meaning that is represented by words on
paper or on the computer screen, there will always
be need for translators.