Machine translation

Machine translation saves you on costs and may significantly shorten your translation lead times. However, machine translation is not equally suitable for all texts and language combinations. It is often necessary to post-edit the translated text. We will be happy to help you choose the best approach.

Machine translation and quality

The quality of machine translation engines, such as Google Translate and Microsoft Translator, and the translations they produce, keeps improving. A lot of progress has been made since the first machine translation attempts in the 1950s, especially in the past few years. The output of machine translation engines is now of such quality that it can provide a realistic alternative to the quality of human translation according to an ISO 17100 process.

What level of quality do you need?

You can weigh quality, lead time and cost against each other when making important choices for your business. For example, consider reviews on websites such as and Airbnb. These are machine-translated, so the quality of the translations leaves to be desired. But without machine translation, translating these texts would be unfeasible because of the large volume and the costs and lead times that come with it.

We invite you to consider the following things regarding your texts:

  • How many words need to be translated?
  • How often can updates and additions to the text be expected?
  • How much time is available for the translation?
  • When is the translation ‘sufficient’? Should it be flawless or just comprehensible?
  • How much budget do you have available for the translation of these texts?

The answers to these questions will be different for every text. What answers would you give when considering the following examples?

  • Websites
  • Webshops
  • Blogs
  • News items
  • Support
  • FAQ
  • Legal texts and contracts
  • Manuals
  • Newsletters
  • Advertising campaigns
  • Product descriptions
  • Chat
  • Reviews

Thanks to recent progress in the field of machine translation, valuable new options are now available to you for the translation of your texts. We would be pleased to help you make the right choices and implement effective processes based on that.

Is machine translation suitable for your texts?

Request a free demonstration

If you opt for machine translation, you will have multiple options to choose from. Two main options are available.

Generic machine translation

Generic machine translation involves using an existing translation machine, which hardly requires any investment on your part. These machines can easily be found online and can be used instantly. Also, if you are not looking for a professional solution, no costs will be involved. If you want more than simply translating your texts by copy-pasting the output of the machine, we can help you. For example, consider the possibility of linking an API with your content management systems, translating files with preservation of layout or linking the output of the machine to professionals who can post-edit the translated text.

Customised machine translation

If you would like to have more control of your data and the quality of the translation machine, customised machine translation is your best option. This involves building up your own translation machine, which is trained with data that is relevant to your organisation. As a result, this translation machine will provide your organisation with better, more appropriate results over time. You can also train translation machines to match the desired style and terminology within your organisation.

Improving machine translations

It should be evident that no translation machine produces a flawless translation. If you make use of machine translation, flawless output should not be one of your requirements. The benefits for you include lower costs and shorter lead times. However, you do have the option of post-editing machine translations. We distinguish two levels of post-editing:

Review, or “light post-editing”

This means the machine translated text will be improved by a professional translator who can correct grammar and spelling errors.

Full post-editing

Full post-editing machine translations goes a step further than reviewing. This type of post-editing involves upgrading the machine translation output to the level of a human translation. To do so, a professional translator will correct any errors and rewrite the texts where necessary, based on your target group.

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